Monday, November 17, 2014

Sept. 9: Middle-of-nowhere to Indian Heaven Wilderness

Blink and you'll miss it:  water signs are hand-made and all too easy to miss in Washington...

 Waking up on the ground, sans tents, with Polar Bear and Terese.  We walked 20 miles to get here, the first real water source in Washington, and found ourselves competing for ground space with about 20 other hikers.  Blegh! 

 More of the same, monotonous forest...  Washington is a psychological challenge.
 I didn't hike this many miles but I still get excited when I pass a 100-mile marker made by a hiker....
 First view of Mt. Adams!  Grassy Knoll.  Finally... something to aim for! 

 Entering the Indian Heaven Wilderness...  it really feels like winter today.

Journal Entry:  Sept. 9, 2014.  23.0 miles.  Indian Heaven/Blue Lake 9:47 PM

"8:45 am -- 6:50pm.  There is a sweet spot for me between 18 - 21 miles.  Less than 18 & I feel some angst-- the result of not pushing myself hard enough.  After 20-21 I hit a wall, and things start to hurt.  I do, however, like the mental shift that happens between 10-15 miles where I stop thinking of past or future & become focused on the present.  Body, food, time/distance, water, pain.  It's great.  I was in a good rhythm all day, knowing I had 23 miles to go I kept a good 2.5-3.0 MPH pace, 15 min breaks Q 2 hrs.  Did stop atop Grassy Knoll w/ a great view of Mt. Adams for the first time.  It was sunny up there (4,000 ft) but cold with fall wind and scattered clouds.  Terese and Polar Bear showed up @ 12:45 as I was leaving.  I did the next 6 miles in 2 hours, and the last 7.4 miles in 2:40, arriving at the lake in time to make camp, get water and make a sign for P.B/T.  Polar Bear came at 7:45pm but Terese never showed up.  We waited until 9:45 pm and now we're in our tents.  The wind is cold.  I worry about her now, but I know she's okay;  she's done 1600 miles in New Zealand.  Now its just me and Polar Bear in our tents."

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