Camping: Killen Creek, PCT mile 2252.86
Before leaving the cafe yesterday I had grabbed a huckleberry cinnamon roll to go. I slept with it by my head to be sure it was kept safe and periodically woke up to the sugary pastry smell throughout the night. It made getting up a real treat as I lay in my sleeping bag taking little nibbles. We were headed back to the cafe for breakfast, and I knew I would eat well there again. I do love breakfast most!
After we lazily ate up breakfast, we headed over to the store to finish our resupply. There we met a nice couple in a truck that let us all pile in the back and drove us to the trailhead. Not only would they not accept gas money, they gave us money taboot! I’m still in constant amazement of the generosity and kindness we encounter on the trail. I’m feeling incredibly blessed by these people, not to mention the countless amazing people in my life already, on and off the trail.
We hit the trail, and not surprisingly started climbing uphill off the bat. It is getting easier every day and it actually feels good. The views kept opening up to all of the volcanoes; St. Helens, Adams and Hood – sometimes all at once. A few of us stopped and had lunch at the top of the climb, taking in the last views of Mt. Hood. It’s hard to believe I am still essentially in my own backyard. We hiked on, continually seeing the vastness of the wilderness around us, volcanoes all around. At one point I was right on the flanks of Adams with Rainier looming large on the horizon. I found myself standing between two volcanoes, loving life and loving Washington.
It looks and feels like fall, but every once in a while you round a corner into a pocket of summer. I let myself get wrapped in the warmth, soaking up what’s left of it in those moments. Occasionally, a wind picks up, reminding me that winter isn’t far away, especially this far north. All in all, it’s hard to believe this all started in the desert. Washington really feels like it is worlds away from where this all began, and it really is. We hiked until we found a beautiful waterfall in the meadows below Mt. Adams where we set up camp. I washed my feet in the glacial melt, shivering and grateful, always appreciative to be where I am. As the sun sank, I became even colder than I could have imagined. We are pretty high in elevation and I can barely feel my fingers and toes. I’ve been carrying a small flask of whiskey to fend off the chill, and I sipped on that before tucking into bed. Now I need to warm my bones and drift away…more great scenery tomorrow.