Day 104 | mile 2393.1 - 2420.8 | 27.7 miles

(Hm. My Garmin says I went 29.9 miles. I’ve never seen such a discrepancy. If anything, Garmin has had lower mileage. Weird.)

Well, today is the day it finally happened. With only 9 days left in my journey, it’s something I thought I’d escape. It’s a rite of passage for thru hikers. I pooped my pants.

Please go now if you don’t want to know any more than what you just read. For everyone else, let me start at the beginning. I’m mostly documenting this for future me who is considering doing another thru hike. Hey, you dumb idiot, not again.

I woke up at 6. Still very anxious about not being able to shower on the next stretch of 9 days. Chatted with Alex on FaceTime. Saw the cats and it made me feel better. I’ll be home so soon.

Breakfast at 7:35. Talked to Forrest about the camping option at Stehekin. He says I can rent a towel from somewhere. And there’s a laundromat. That alleviates most of my reservations about it.

Subzero joined me. He is waiting for his brother who is joining him on the PCT for the last stretch. Found out they stayed in that very stinky room across from me. 4 people in that room: Extra Mile, Gandalf, Subzero, and Orange Shorts whose real trail name is Chihuahua. Oof.

Chihuahua stopped by and talked to Subzero. Still no acknowledgment that I exist. Gandalf popped by. We talked about finishing. He said he was really tired, too. And bored with the trail. So glad I’m not alone!

In talking to them I realized I forgot to pack the food stuff in the mini fridge. I had already checked out. I ran back to get a key so I could grab the two cheese sticks, a Milky Way bar, and an orange creamsicle soda. 

Started hiking at 11. The trail was nicely graded and i was feeling great just cruising. Then I got to the hot rocky switchbacks and of course, that’s when nature called.

I ate a pint of ice cream the previous night. I’m pretty sure I’m lactose intolerant, but what am supposed to do? Not eat ice cream? Don’t be ridiculous. And so, I just enjoy ice cream, have one loose movement, and move on with my life. Except not this time. This time, i was stuck on rocky switchbacks with no place to hide, let alone dig a cat hole. 

I thought I was fine. But the next time i pulled down my shorts to pee, flies circled me, and I smelled the unmistakable smell of human feces. I panicked. I scraped whatever I could with rocks that I hurled far from the trail. It wasn’t a lot. But you don’t need much to have a shitty situation on your hands. To make matters worse, this is day 1 of what was supposed to be a 9 day showerless stretch.

Finally got some privacy at the top of the climb. Walked far far away and cleaned up the best I could with  wipes and a backcountry bidet. I knew Ridge Lake was coming up, and I decided I’d take a dip in there. Unethical? Maybe. I was desperate.

Left my pack at the trail and climbed down to Ridge Lake. It was cold, but not too bad. I quickly waded in fully clothed. (I lost my bra doing laundry in Portland.) 

Walked back to the trail after drying off. Uh oh. I left my sunglasses. Back to the trail feeling proud of myself for not losing anything. Uh oh. My wallet. Again, walked back. This was like a quarter of a mile each way. I’m an idiot.

Gandalf and Chihuahua found my pack and camera where I left it. Gandalf was looking through my camera pictures trying to figure out who it belonged to. Weird. I asked him if these big flies are “broms”. He said they are. Horse flies, in English.

Met Kimberly (Tortoise) and Josh (Hobo) at the top of a pass. They looked really familiar. After a few seconds we all realized we've met each other. We struggled to pin-point where when Josh finally yelled White Water Reserve. Of course!

Listening to Hamilton again. Then MBMBaM on the climb down. 

Some guy I hadn’t seen before passed me on the way down. I had already forgotten about him when I saw a bare ass up ahead right next to the trail. I stopped and looked down. What kind of psychopath shits just off the trail? I mean, he was like 1 foot from the trail. Especially when he knew I was not far behind me. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it might be intentional. I got scared and basically ran past him as he was pulling his pants back on. Never saw him again.

(Granted, the psychopath writing this did throw shit smeared rocks from the trail mere hours ago.)

Hiked into the night. Lots of up and down. Big 2,000+ ft climb at the end.

Camped next to some snoring campers near a lake. I badly needed water.