Day 136
Miles: 10
From Ginette Lake to Pipe Lake

Town, town, town, town, town! Many possibilities, only two miles to get to White Pass. We pass by Pigpen and Kentucky on our way out – they had come in late last night and camped nearby.

We arrive at the small convenience store and motel that is about all there is to White Pass and find the place chock-full of hikers. It’s all the hikers that had left Trout Lake the same day as us. Apparently they then hiked huge miles and blasted through Goat Rocks, then been exhausted and gotten rooms at the motel and stayed the night. I don’t really understand the philosophy of hiking big miles through really beautiful, amazing places, and then taking time off in town to recover, but it’s a classic thru-hiker move. Strange. Done it myself. Can’t tell you why.

Like always, I find myself feeling totally overwhelmed by the presence of so many hikers. We’re all together, talking, talking, telling each other about all the beautiful, cool things we’ve seen or done, which of course are the exact same beautiful, cool things everyone else has seen or done, and it feels too much like they want something from me – I don’t know what. I don’t even know if it’s real or just all in my head, but I feel so crowded by all the opinions and feelings and experiences. My brain feels noisy as a trail station. J doesn’t care and isn’t bothered and doesn’t understand why I don’t just stop being bothered by feelings that I can’t even articulate.

We stay in White Pass long enough to pick up our resupply packages, go through the hiker box, eat some deli sandwiches, and mess around on the internet a bit. We’re not going to stay the night, so I guess it’s time to get back on trail.

Leaving White Pass it feels warmer than it has been for a while. J isn’t feeling well – he’s a bit too tired, sweating a bit too profusely, stomach is off. He’s looking a little green. We slow it down a bit.

I was thinking we could make it ten miles this afternoon, but J is not up for it. “What if we stopped here?” he asks, as we walk up to a little lake.
“That’s ok with me,” I reply. Pipe Lake is bigger than the little ponds we’ve been passing, deep enough to have a blue cast to the water, deep enough to have fish. It’s breathlessly still, and as the day quickly darkens and cools, J casts his line across the sky – a shaggy-bearded magician – and conjures a cutthroat trout for dinner. We eat it with wild mushrooms and couscous, a good Washington meal. (No blueberries for a foraging trifecta, but we will persevere!) It’s nice to stop early and enjoy the evening instead of always hiking till dark. We’ve passed by so many beautiful camping spots and so many lakes full of fish in the name of miles – but you shouldn’t do it every day.

Seems like there should be an elk here, right?

The magician

Now THAT is a hiker meal.


4 thoughts on “Day 136: fish for supper

  1. My fiance and I started reading your blog way back when you two started the trail and anxiously await your new posts each day. We have a conversation often that goes, “Did Incline update today (somehow that’s who you became to us)?” “No.” “Aaarg!” (Or alternately “Yeah!” “Woo!”)
    I had to comment on this post because we are planning to thru hike this year and this post describes EXACTLY how I worry I’ll feel in the groups of hikers. I hope we meet some folks like you on the trail. I have really enjoyed following your journey and it has completely changed what I consider a “successful” thru hike for myself. Thanks for sharing!

    • Wow, your comment is like the best thing that’s happened to me all day. I can’t believe anyone is still following along!

      I definitely had complicated feelings about other hikers, but it was all from me, not them. One thing I learned from the trail was how much I really do look to others for personal validation instead of listening to my own heart and doing things because I truly find them fulfilling. The other hikers were (99% of them) truly lovely, and I find myself thinking about people that I miss at least as often as I miss the freedom and the walking and the woods. Letting go of my expectations of other people has also allowed me to better examine my expectations of myself. The best part of the trail, though, is that you have plenty of time to think about it all…

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