Well today was our 30. From rainy to harts pass, 6814 elevation gain. We woke just before five and was hiking out before 530. I've been following baton in the dark so I don't hurt myself again. It's nice to follow someone when it's dark. It's def not as spooky. It was bone chilling cold this morn. But then it would get hot and then cold and then hot. Basically hot and exposed on climbs and freezing in the shade. Cut throat pass was amazing. It was my first larch sightings too. I think I also saw gp's north face. It looked so gnarly. Basically after we got up the pass, it just looked like the north cascade pics I've always seen aka WA pass stuff.
Climbed another random methow pass and then descended down to a creek for lunch. By lunch, we had walked 18 miles already. So much progress before lunch feels so good. Oh also, baton walked in on me going pee off the side of the trail. Bare white ass exposed and all. I apologized but I told him I usually time it well and no one has ever walked up on me before. Oh well, it's the trail life I guess. I had walked in on the doc exposed as he was doing his routine naked lake swim/bath last week. It's normal and no one should feel ashamed. Had a quick lunch by the water but it's always so cold in the shade now. I knew if I sat too long my feet would hurt more so I packed up and headed up the hill. This time climbed for around six miles but gradual. Once I got to the top, it was this amazing ridge walk w larchies everywhere. They are still green, semi yellow. Then the mts started looking like the dry ones in the desert. How funny that the trail becomes full circle in the end. We could see smoke and haze off in the distance w a faint smell. Nothing nearly as bad as snoq to Stevens.
As I got closer to harts pass, there were some burned trees. I have never been in this area before. I was walking by myself on my 28th mile as the sun was starting to set behind the Mt. I was thinking about how this is my second to last day on trail. Not as monumental as if I would have finished last year but I was missing all our friends from last year and thinking about the desert days. I was thinking how the actual hiking and views don't even matter in the end. It's the experience you actually miss. When we all started at campo and no one had a clue how to do a thru hike. We were all new and babies. It was like the first day of school. Then we all slowly morphed into a huge traveling family, learning, growing and living on trail together. Section hiking doesn't even compare one bit.
I got to harts pass ranger station. I had walked my first 30 in wa for this year. It was surprisingly not that bad. Baton and I decided we'd do a normal day tom where we don't have to hike in the dark and can actually take a proper lunch. I ate dinner at the picnic table w some other random hikers. I don't have any real bonding w any of them except baton but only bc we have been hiking together since Stevens. I wondered what it would've been like last year, w all of our friends I had known since the desert. It started getting really cold fast. I shivered as I set up my tent in the dark after dinner. Only one more night of this and I'm done. I'll have a warm soft bed and won't have to worry about being so cold at night. I actually can't wait. I don't really know what time I'll get started tom but I want the sun out first. I don't get how ppl are cowboy camping in this temp. It's so cold.