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John "lakewood" Fegyveresi

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 115: Mile 2433.3 (31.5)

Ok...so lots to write about today.

I'm not sure what happened today, but I had somewhat of a
reinspiration, an epiphany, as it were. Less than 24 hours ago i was
commenting on how I really wanted to go home and how my heart wasn't
in the hike anymore. That seemed to take a positive turn today.

Walking out of the pancake house with a full belly was my first good
move. Turns out that today was their last open day of business. I
lucked out. Secondly, I'm alone again. Unlike Oregon, where my solo
stretch was almost mathematical...and a bit lonely, today It brought
me solace. I walked deliberately slowly, took breaks whenever,
breathed in the alpine air and walked along exposed ridges for hours.
My mind wandered with thoughts of home, memories from the trail, and
what the finish would be like. Dont get me wrong, I still do want to
close the chapter on my PCT book, but It was good to be in the
mountains today. I think this is why I have a new motivation to get
up and walk again tomorrow.

This brings me to the other big note of today...one I'm not
particularly proud of, but definitely glad it worked out. For
hundreds of miles I've been hearing about the lemah fire closure. A
six mile section of trail (only 3 of which actually burned) was closed
and the detour adds over ten miles. Southbounders I'd seen along the
way all had their opinions but several informed me they just went
through it anyway. In snoqualmie, the rangers told me the trail would
be open by sept 1st, but was basically ready. So....when I got to the
roped off trail, I paused a long time wondering what I'd say if I ran
into a ranger or trail crews while walking on a prohibited trail.
Then...i hopped the rope. I felt so dirty and criminal. For the next
six miles, I scampered briskly down the trail, praying not to see a
soul. Luck was on my side and I got to the end of the closure without
seeing anyone. Had i seen someone, i probably would have had a "deer
in headlights" look, and not a very good excuse. Needless to say, I
let out a sigh of relief, happy about the posibilty of still doing a
30 mile day. The closed section was eerily beautiful with all of the
freshly burned trees. It is hard to explain, but it felt almost
ghostly walking through it. The trail itself was all repaired and
honestly I'm still not sure why it's not open yet. Anyhoo

Made it over 31 today after a long and hot afternoon climb. The
weather in central and northern WA is forecast to be sunny (good!) but
very hot (not so good). Might hit 90's or even 100. Who would have
thought northern Washington hits 100? Oh and the
Mosquitos....yeah...starting to get real bad again. Not Oregon bad,
but still bad.

One last note,
It was three years ago today that i set foot upon Mt. Katahdin after
completing what i thought then would be my hardest personal
challenge. Let's hope in eight days, that I can add Aug. 23rd to that
list as well. I still remember vividly the feeling that overcame me
as I laid my hands upon the terminus sign. I can't imagine what the
feeling is going to be like at the Canadian border, I only hope it's
one I'll remember years from now.

1 comment:

Hiking Seniors said...

Hello, John, and congratulations on your completion of the PCT! What a life-enhancing experience!

I am a volunteer writer for a volunteer group in the columbia River Gorge - Friends of Vista House - and am writing an article on the PCT.

Somewhere in your blog, that I cannot now find, there is mention of an attack by "demonic mice," and I would enjoy using this tidbit as a humorous note in our winter quarterly newsletter.

Would you consider providing a few details on that event for inclusion? If so, how would you like credit to be shown?

Thank you.

LHewitt
lrhewitt@comcast.net
Portland, OR