From mirror lake to Snoqualmie Pass (Issaquah)
Our alarm has gone off, and we can hear the soft noises of 3D getting up and packing her things. We follow suit, sorting out our gear in the early morning light in record time. CrackerJack has emerged from his tent and has his music going. J and I munch down our last two clif bars.
The sun is just up as we head out. The sunlight on the mountains above the lake reflects back – damn if it isn’t a good day for hiking.
A beautiful morning, and I’m exhausted. I’m already full of complaints – aching feet, pulled muscle, tired, tired. We’ve been going for more than two weeks straight now without taking a whole day off and I feel it. It’s going to be absolutely beautiful this weekend, sunny and warm, and I’m going to go to town. No help for it.
The trail is mean to us, steep up, then down, then up. The walking is rocky, hard, wet, slow. Complain, complain, I think. The breeze blows cool and the sun shines and the view stretches open and clear- I’m hiking today, and I’m glad, I’m glad, I think.
J and I limp into Snoqualmie Pass, just behind 3D and CrackerJack, absolutely starving. One clif bar for nine miles is not enough. I’m feeling weak and J is being rude to the day-hikers. (They started it.)
We’re getting picked up here by Barry, the father of a good friend down in Tucson. He’s going to take us home to Issaquah for to resupply and rest up, and he’s waiting in the parking lot of the Chevron as we walk up. He’s driven forty minutes out of his way, but I impinge further on his hospitality and ask him if he’ll wait while we stuff our faces at the pancake hut?
He will. Barry drinks coffee while J, 3D, CrackerJack, and I order huge plates of food, then inhale them. “You’d think we were making a porno film with all the mmms and ahhs going on over here,” comments Barry, bemused, as he watches us like an anthropologist dropped off in the deepest forests of Papua New Guinea. Our plates are liked clean and CrackerJack is scraping the syrup off his plate with his fork and Barry sneakily pays for it all. I guess now we’re ready. We part ways with 3D and CrackerJack, then Barry has the pleasure of spending forty minutes in a small enclosed space with two very smelly hikers.
Showers, laundry, the grocery store, REI… We’ve gotten all our chores done today. I’ve bought a new pair of shoes again. (This is pair #6.) My Salomon XR missions have turned against me, and we’re breaking up. After trying on all the shoes in REI, I’ve ended up with a pair of Ahnu hiking shoes. I’ve never seen these shoes before (or heard of the brand, come to think of it) but they seem promising. Perhaps they will make my feet feel magical and new. (This has never happened with any other pair of shoes, but maybe with this one…)
We could probably leave tomorrow, but I think we’re going to take the day off instead.