8/18/17 – The Day We Timed It Right

Day 116
Miles: 2,202.74 to 2,226.35

Total miles hiked: 1,585.31
“I’m so comfortable right now,” I said when our alarm woke us from blissful sleep. “And I’m tired too.”

“Do you want to sleep longer?” Dave asked. 
“Sure.” I said and I reset the alarm for an hour later. 
I immediately felt bad about not getting up, an hour of sleep costs us 2-3 miles but I was not ready to rise and start the day. It would be nice to make it to Trout Lake but if we can’t, there was a good camping spot by creek just 5 miles from Hwy 23 which would put us to town early enough in the morning to finish our chores and rest a little.

On our way to Trout Lake… in a truck bed.

The elevation profile I checked last night did not lie. The terrain was very easy, so easy I’m pretty sure we won’t find easier section anywhere else in Washington. We walked slightly up and then there was long gentle down, and areas of flat ground, and lakes everywhere. For a moment I questioned if somehow we got back to Oregon.

By our first break, we caught up one of the lost miles. By second break, we were mile ahead of what our usual distance is after 4 hours of hiking. 

Berry season is here.

We took a lunch by a refreshing stream just shortly after 1:00 p.m. I could not believed we have hiked 15 miles by then.

The one uphill that could slow us down came in the afternoon. We gained 1,500 feet throughout the entire day and now we faced a hillside that would make us climb another 1,500 feet in 2.5 miles. Somehow I mustered the energy to crush the hill, even the second half which was literally straight up. 

Moncici found a friend at Trout Lake Valley Inn

At 5:30 p.m. we walked to forest road 23, from where we needed to catch a hitch to Trout Lake, some 13 miles away.
This is where things started really falling together. My sleeping in put us at this road at a time when the first vehicle drove by just 3 minutes after we put our packs down, and they put us in the truck bed and took us to town.
Just about the time we got to town, somebody canceled their reservation at Trout Lake Inn and the timing was priceless for Dave to call and book that room which was the only available room in town being Friday night.
We managed to pick our resupply box from local grocery store, and the owner drove us to our hotel which is 0.7 miles out of the center. We got there just in time to do a load of laundry before the laundry room closed for the night.
And so now we are resting in our room, which is absolutely the best hotel room we stayed at during our trip, decorated like a mountain cabin, and I already know that leaving tomorrow will be extremely hard. Perhaps I’ll let myself sleep an hour longer.