September 10, 2015 (25th Re-Ration – Snoqualamie Pass)
Stirrup Creek (2388.7) to Snoqualamie Pass (2401.9)
13.2 PCT miles today
2436.5 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 3,082 ft, – 3,630 ft
Today was all about getting to town. These days, every hour off-trail is precious, and we planned on getting in as many as possible today even though we still had over 13 miles to hike. With that as our focus, we woke up extra early, kept up a fast pace, and were fed, showered, and resting our feet in bed by 1pm. The whole rest of the afternoon was dominated by our needs for calories, time off our feet, and time with Mama Bear.
Our morning hike was fast and unmemorable. More tree tunnels, fortunately no rain or even clouds, and lots of chit chat with our friend Caveman, who hiked many of the miles with us. We were pleased with our pace and kept increasing our time in town with every hour of fast hiking. The days’ climbs didn’t even slow us down.
When we were less than 3 miles from the pass, I noticed some writing in the dirt and after reading out loud “MapQuest + Pickles” I exclaimed, “Hey, that’s us!” There was an arrow pointing down a trail to the left and even though we had no idea what it meant, we figured Mama Bear might be behind it, so we said bye to Caveman so he could get to town and we headed down the trail. Less than 100 yards later Mama Bear popped out of the trees. It was great to see her and a fun little surprise. She explained that she had hiked up to the lake to check it out and then realized she might miss us if we happened to walk by, so less than 2 minutes before we had seen our names, she had run up and written them in the dirt. Her last-minute plan worked perfectly and we were all able to hike back to Snoqualamie together.
We ate lunch at our hotel before we even took showers, and then we got cleaned up and started in on our normal nero-day tasks. We continued to snack, did laundry, organized our rations, wrote emails, and of course, laid in bed and watched TV. Our fast hiking had paid off and we enjoyed each hotel moment to its fullest.
This evening we headed over to a restaurant called Webb’s where we watched the football game and indulged in delicious, and affordable, all-you-can-eat tacos. The place was a great local’s bar, and not nearly enough PCT hikers were taking advantage of the tasty food.
Somehow these nero days fly by every time. Before we know it, it is time for bed and we begin feeling some anxiety about hiking out in the morning. We hope to get in 25 miles tomorrow, but the climb out of this valley, and the angry looking elevation profile have us a little nervous. It’s only 3 days to our next stop and I figure we can do anything for 3 days, so I’m sure we’ll get the miles in somehow. Leaving fully rested and with a full belly certainly won’t hurt, and the sun should still be shining, so if nothing else, that will make for a great day of hiking.