Day 77
Miles: 8
From hwy 50 to Aloha lake

We’re ready to go pretty early this morning, but we pass up an early ride out with Dan and Christina because we’re not finished sitting on the couch yet. J lies on the floor. “Dirtnap,” says Teal to J. “I sort of thought that all the pictures of you lying on the ground was just Gizmo playing up your trail name, but  Bluesman just posted a pic on Facebook of you two, and you’re lying on the ground there too.” J is pretty good at taking advantage of any chance for a nap.

It’s time to go, and I’m discouraged to still feel so exhausted, to have my feet still so painful. I’d been dreaming of a fresh start, but it will take a lot longer than two days to feel brand new again.

Dimples and Stephanie drop us off at the trail, then continue on to Oregon and her uncle’s. Dimples had had to get off trail for health reasons, which is a major bummer (but also means we got to hang out again). He’s an ER doc, and hopefully will find her someone who can figure out what’s wrong. If we’re all really lucky, maybe she’ll be back on trail before the end of the summer.

Trees, forest, trail – all I can think about are complaints. My feet my knees my exhaustion feet knees tired tired tired. “Do you want to stop at Echo Lake for lunch?” asks J, interrupting my single train of thought.
  “Sure.” We’ve gone two miles, might as well take a break.

Sandwiches and milkshakes consumed we trudge back out. It’s uphill, nothing but sharp rocks, and humid. Big, black clouds are building behind us with a tin pan racket. I’m so tired that I try to hike with my eyes closed. Doesn’t work. I’m really nauseous and beginning to think that maybe I don’t just have a bad case of laziness. J makes a trip to the bushes so I put my pack down and lay in the dirt on the side of the trail, where I feel much better. “I don’t think I’m ok,” I tell J when he gets back.
  “Do you want to find a better spot off the trail too lie down?”
  “Nah, I think we’re need to keep going. That storm is coming for us.” The sky rumbles back in response.

We keep going then, stumbling along. We make a couple more miles under threatening skies. “Do you have the tarp handy?” I ask J. “Maybe we should just hunker down when this thing hits, wait for it to pass.”
  “Yeah, it’s right on top. Sounds like a plan.”

We have umbrellas and pack liners, but this type of storm usually rolls over, and it doesn’t seem worth it to just soak ourselves. When the first big drops start to hit we start looking for a spot – we set up just in time to avoid the deluge, and wave to wet hikers from underneath the blue palace. I pull out my (patched!) sleeping pad and fall asleep.

I sleep and sleep. The rain stops – we should go – I get out my sleeping bag and go back to sleep. No more miles for us today.

Late evening, J convinces me to get up and walk to Aloha Lake with him. My stomach protests, but the view is worth it. The lake is silky and flat, mountains shimmering in it and above it, gray and smooth. Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up strong and new.


Echo Lake



Aloha Lake, after the storm


Time for bed.


Leave a Reply