There is nothing like waking up in a tent as the wind and rain pelts said tent to no end. I woke up around 6am to this racket and decided it wasn’t for me yet. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, eventually giving up that endeavor in order to just stay warm and cozy in my sleeping bag until about 7:30am. It was then that I began my morning ritual; breakfast, change from sleeping attire to hiking clothes, pack up sleeping bag, pack up mattress pad, etc. Basically, I packed up everything that could go in my pack besides my tent due to the heavy rain. Then I heard a crazy person yell, “Yeeeee-haaaaaaw!” and knew Pie was in the rain and off like a shot. I threw my pack outside the tent and packed up the tent as fast I could, knowing it was feudal to try and keep it dry. We had 11 miles to get into Stevens Pass where Pie’s buddy O.d. Coyote (Bob from earlier in our journey) would meet us to facilitate the next leg of the journey. Today’s hike was essentially a run in the rain. I didn’t carry any water even, in an effort to be as light as possible in the downpour.
I made it to the highway at 1pm, Pie rolled up about 1:30pm and O.d. Coyote cruised up in his car shortly after that.
Today signified the end of my pack though. I was pretty disappointed with it today. The stitching where my hip belt is has been coming undone so the hip belt rides up higher than normal. This causes my bag to sit lower as well. Coming in today my bag was hitting me below my butt. It was basically a giant fanny pack instead of a backpack. When I hit the highway I called my wife, Marissa, to talk about sending up my old pack that I started the trip with way back when but she suggested finding a gear shop and grabbing a new one if possible. If she were to mail the old pack I would have to wait around for it and Pie’s deadline would mean we couldn’t finish at the border together after all this time. We found a gear shop in Wenatchee that we drove to after picking up our resupply package at the Dinsmore’s Hiker Haven. We actually got stuck waiting for a train and so I called the gear shop, which closed at 5pm, because we weren’t gonna make it in time. An awesome dude named Kyle said he would set the pack aside and hang around until we got there since we were only gonna be about 15-20 minutes late. In the end, I got myself a new pack, and am mailing the other one home so I can have a conversation with Six Moons at the end of the trail.
After the gear store we headed on down to Chelan to take care of our errands including dinner, laundry, shopping and packing our packs. From Chelan we are taking the ferry up to Stehekin to hike from there to the border. Despite the rain we had been hiking in, the fire closures are still in effect at this point so there is no way to walk continuously to the border from Stevens Pass. So we will skip this section and hike to the border and hope that this area opens back up as we are hiking and we have enough time to come back and complete it before Pie’s deadline. We will see what happens.