Sept 13th
Snoqualmie Pass(2402)-Lemah Creek(2424.1)
Today’s Mileage: 22.1mi

I started off the day not feeling very excited about getting back on the trail. I was my wired self last night and ran my mind to where I couldn’t sleep, so I stayed up til almost 1am watching the finale of Friday Night Lights (so great!). At 5am, I was woken by Yankee’s wristwatch alarm, which he completely slept through. I couldn’t get back to sleep and laid there for awhile being anxious that I wasn’t sleeping enough and I’m losing too much weight. After really working myself into a tizzy, I decided to just get up after only 4hrs of sleep. Bill was great and made us waffles and I ate as much as I could. We ended up getting back to the trail just before 8am and I was tired and had a tummy ache from stressing about not eating enough. I put in my headphones in hopes of relaxing as we went up over 2000ft. Within an hour, we saw Chris (who got back on the trail yesterday) walking toward us and back towards the trailhead. He had been mentioning heel pain for awhile and said he tore something in his heel last night and is now headed home. That was a real heartbreaker to see someone’s hike end so suddenly. He had planned on jumping back down to fill in his missing parts in Southern and Northern California and he said now he has to accept that it won’t all happen in one season. His footprint is the one I’ve been following ever since Crater Lake and I miss seeing it. Total bummer!

After seeing Chris, it hit me how quickly the hike can end, and that I better start appreciating it more in my final days out here. I was helped by a great view as we got up the switchbacks and entered Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

This area is rugged and breathtaking. This is the image I’ve imagined we’d see as we get further north. Most of the day looked like it should be in a museum painting!

We walked on an exposed ridge most of the day and the views were spectacular!

The trail was not easy, but worth all the effort. It had steep and rocky ups and downs most of the day.

I really needed a day like today to snap me out of the funk I’ve been in for a lot of Washington. I spent the day quite humbled by where I was and how fortunate I am to have been able to do this hike. I had my headphones in and all my favorite songs were perfectly coming up on random, so I felt really great. It was even more emotional thinking about all it took to get here and thinking about the past five months. There are about ten hiking days left and I want to appreciate them while I can. I know I’ll miss it when I return to regular life, so I need to soak it in while I can. It really was an amazing day. I’m pretty tired now and I’m glad we got to finish a bit early today. It’s so rugged here, that there is limited opportunity for camp spots. We stopped almost an hour early because we couldn’t risk getting caught on the switchbacks we have ahead of us with nowhere to camp. I’m really sleepy right now and at a loss for words, but I need to express that this is one of my most memorable days of the whole hike. I can’t believe how fortunate I am!

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