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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Climbing and winning

Day 20 7/2
Mileage 14

Today, we wound through a very quiet forest for a few miles after we left the hot spring. It was oddly quiet, in a cool way. There wasn't much undergrowth and the trees were all very tall and straight so we could see for a while. I realized the silence was due to the absence of running water. It was pretty much the first time on the hike that we weren't in close proximity to a raging river. Then, we crushed a stupidly big climb. It was about 2600 feet in a couple miles, straight up. The vegetation smelled like green tea, and as we climbed, I pretended I was in China traversing some remote, subtropical mountain range. At the top, we were rewarded with an incredible view of gorgeous snow lake, still covered in a sheet of ice and snow, as the name suggests. The descent passed with no knee issues and we reached Snoqualmie Pass. Oh, the joy of resupplies! In addition to the fun new food in my box, the inn had a hiker box bursting with deliciousness left behind from other would-be sobos who abandoned or changed their plans due to the snow. So, we got another pile of food. Then I got a pile of candy. Also, I discovered what may become my go-to resupply snack: a bottle of chocolate milk, maybe a quart, and a pint of half and half. I drink part of the milk and replace it with the half and half and all my dreams come true. Now, with packs weighed down with enough food to last a normal person probably a month each, we make our way to White Pass, which I think may literally only be a Kracker Barrel store. We have a 7-miler tomorrow, then we're taking a July 4th on-trail zero day, since Will won't be in Cascade Locks until after the 20th and we need to rest, anyway. Yay, zeroes! Yay, America! I'm glad we made some more miles today, but going is still slow. I'm starting to begin feeling the time pressure picking up. The last few days, which have been essentially rest days from a thru-hiker's perspective, have all been hard-won battles. I think after some more on-trail time, we'll find out rhythm and really get going.

Snow Lake, indeed.

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