Day 97 | mile 2176.6 - 2207.3 | 30.7 miles

Awake at 6:30. But really not wanting to leave the soft, comfortable bed and pillows. Shower. Left the hotel at 8.

Breakfast at Natalia’s Cafe on the way to the trail. We still had two fancy $3.50 donuts, so Forrest and I just split a breakfast burrito and the donuts. Washington breakfast burrito game is off to a strong start. Plenty of real cheese, the potatoes were crispy, and the tortilla was toasted. We shared a bergamot flavored donut, and a blueberry one. Both were really good, but bergamot one especially so.

I caught up on journaling on the way to the trailhead. Again, it’s a long climb this morning. Our plan: Forrest drops me off at Trout Creek, I run 5 miles to Panther Creek campground while he drives my pack 11 miles up the hill where the trail intersects a dirt road, Forrest drives back to Panther Creek to meet me to have a water break and say goodbye.

We saw Extra Mile where Forrest was dropping me off at Trout Creek. Forrest offered her the same deal. She agreed.

Started running at 11. Met Forrest in 50 minutes. He was wiping the rental car making sure there are no scratches. Apparently the dirt road he took to drop off our packs was a little sketchy. I so appreciate not having to carry my heavy pack most of the way up this hill. We cheersed with our la croix. And made a drink: la croix + orange juice. Yum. I hiked on at 12.

6 quick miles up to my pack, then another 5 to the top of the climb. I was a little on edge without my pack. Once i was safely reunited with it I felt better. Even though my pack was heavy with 4 days of food, it was alright.

Saw Mt. Adams today! The trail goes north toward it and then around. So, I’ll be seeing it more and more.

Lots of flies and mosquitoes, but it’s windy. I watch their fruitless struggle to counteract the wind and land on me. Still, I killed a few blood-filled insects on my skin.

I never saw Extra Mile again after leaving Trout Lake. Passed Gandalf while I was still running without my pack. Passed Crush - a guy I met at Big Lake Youth Camp. Oh and guess who I saw again. The orange short shorts guy from way back in the desert. Ugh. I was leaving the water source as he was getting there.

Camping alone. I actually found myself hoping there was nobody else at the campsite. I was looking forward to being alone. I set up the tent and walked over to the lake to get water. There are big scary paw tracks in the sand by the lake. Eek. Hope they don’t visit me tonight.

Ramen and 2 hard boiled eggs for dinner. Not hungry for dessert. That’s a first.

Read the chapter about Cascade Locks to White Pass. I’m definitely a little intimidated by the descriptions of Goat Rocks. Especially since it’s supposed to rain today and tomorrow. All the clowns going SOBO have made it though, so I’ll be fine.