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Sept 7th
Killen Creek(2252.9)-Near Snowgrass Tr Junction(2282.7)
Today’s Mileage: 29.8mi

Yankee and I got going 15min earlier than our usual 6am start. It wasn’t planned. We just got ready fast and we were happy to get a good jump on the day. The day finally started off with a good deal of downhill and level. By the time we had our first water break, we were both feeling overconfident and had hopes of making it to a camp that would give us 34mi for the day. A few hours later, at lunch, reality set in that we weren’t superhuman and we needed a more realistic goal. We settled for almost a 30mi day and it hit me how skewed my expectations have become. I actually feel like if I don’t do 30mi, I have to have a reason. I somehow feel that I have underperformed or I’m being lazy! Where did that come from!?

I’ve come to accept that I’m in Washington, at the end of a long and tiring journey, and the miles are not going to come easily. It was not an easy realization to accept, and it took pretty much all day to break through my denial phase. My body was making a strong argument to support that it was tired and so was my mind. I was pretty much frustrated for most of the day today and just didn’t feel like walking all day. Once again, it was a day of Washington’s uphill, creepy forest. Only today, we got to enjoy the added bonus of many blowdowns and overgrown trail. Yippee!

Can you tell I’m not amused? I think it was the hour plus in the overgrown terrain that pushed me over to the dark side. Mostly because it was followed by a hot and exposed uphill climb that felt like an eternity. I had to bring out the big guns to counteract the boiling frustration that has been building over this six day leg that feels like it will never end. I brought out my MP3 player and listened to The audiobook, “Bossy Pants;” by Tina Fey. It helped immensely and I listened to it for two hours today. I’m having to hold back from listening to it too much and I’m trying to save it for when I really need a pick-me-up. I can’t believe I’m in a rain free Washington and I’m complaining! I feel horrible about that and feel like I should just be happy that it’s dry, warm, and clear enough to see everything. Many hikers may go through this area in such crummy weather that they won’t see any of the mountains or views. I just had a lot of trouble with appreciating that today…and then I got just what I needed…GOAT ROCKS!

Goat Rocks was my first ever backpacking trip in the Northwest two summers ago and I thought it was the most amazing place I’ve ever been to. It was also the first time I ever heard of the PCT. We finally got to the heart of Goat Rocks around 5pm and the views hiking up were great!

My mood quickly changed because this place just makes me happy. I think it’s my Disney World of backpacking. Just look at this!

Tomorrow, we are going to continue through Goat Rocks and into one of the most scenic areas on the whole trail. I’m very excited about that despite a looming uphill climb. I also want to mention that we spent the second half of the day hiking with Cherry Picker, who is doing many parts of the PCT. We are currently at a great campsite with this view of Mt Adams.

Also, my day ended splendidly when Yankee, who is Italian, gave me an extra pack of spaghetti with Prego sauce (my favorite!). I can’t believe I didn’t meet him sooner because I would have been carrying this meal all trail! So great!

So, the Goat Rocks therapy has helped immensely and I’m looking forward to seeing more tomorrow! Plus, we get to White Pass tomorrow and I get a new pair of shoes!

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