Miles: 21.58
Camping: Trout Lake off PCT mile 2137.52

There was a veil of mist rising from the lake this morning, last nights moon still lingering in the sky. Our tents were wet with condensation and the sun was taking its time reaching our camp. I decided to pack my things wet and get going, too excited by the prospect of getting to the town of Trout Lake. We had heard tales of huckleberry milkshakes and my calorie needs are through the roof. I immediately began fantasizing about cheeseburgers and milkshakes, as well as supplementing my food supply. I’m eating more than usual, which is leading to a rapidly dwindling snack supply. I blame the cold. It’s no joke.

Since I haven’t been experiencing as much pain as before, I’m able to enjoy myself more. I feel incredibly open to everything around me, like a sponge ready to soak up every last drop of this experience. I love the way the crisp air feels on my skin and in my lungs, the way some of the deciduous plants have begun turning their leaves for a new season, I love the way everything smells so clear and fresh, and that my feet don’t hurt!  There is something so calming about Washington.

Our group congregated by a stream for lunch; 13 of us total. Everyone is always in good spirits on a town day, so it was a fun lunch. It is Cheeseburger’s 26th birthday, and there was lots of talk about celebration. One thing was most certain and that was huckleberry milkshakes. After lunch we all spread out and hiked as if there were not so many of us connected together at once. I hiked alone and it’s been some of the best hiking yet. I feel like everything is culminating and the grand finale is on the horizon. I couldn’t pick a better group to be finishing this hike with, they make me smile every day.

When I got to the trailhead, Party Saver and Danger Spoon were already hitchhiking. I walked over to join them just as a truck was pulling in. Without even taking off my pack, a ride to town had arrived. What luck! Our drive was courtesy of a man named Bob and he was actually a Portland native. He was quite lively, and chatted with us the whole way to town. We were dropped off at the restaurant where many of our group had already been seated. We grabbed some table space and ordered burgers and shakes all around. I was quite tired after dinner so I walked to the campground with Biscuit and Danger Spoon. The three of us sat around talking quietly, and never quite made it out for any birthday celebration. I feel as if I need the sleep and I look forward to real breakfast in the morning.

I will try to be better about pictures. It is often poor light because I’m always in the trees, but it is always beautiful. Tomorrow, I’ll make it a point.