Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 143 - wa2379 to Snoqualmie Pass

Dew on some mushrooms
Lizard Lake
Snoqualamie Pass
I woke up in the middle night, and heard some noises coming from the direction of the spring. It sounded a bit like an animal barking. Sizzler later told me it might have been coyotes. Maybe. It was strange. I kept trying to figure out if the barks are getting closer to my tent, and getting ready to go outside and make some noise to scare them away. But they remained far off at the spring, and I drowsed back to sleep.
In the morning, I yet again snoozed my alarm clock from 6:00 to 6:30. I did notice that my tent was covered in dew, inside and out, so I was dreaming about wiping off the water with my towel, in those last 30 minutes. When I finally got up, I did just that - the best use I have found for my camp towel, no doubt.
Heading out, I was happy to see the fog lift, and get some actual sunshine. I made a snack stop under some power lines, in the morning sun. I also got some good cell reception and called home. A good way to start my day.
I passed a section hiker a bit later on. At first I just said "hello" and moved on, but I stopped to take a photo of a big collection of mushrooms near the trail, and he caught up to me and started talking to me. It took a while before I managed to get away and keep on marching fast towards Snoqualamie Pass.
I met Sizzler just at a nice little waterfall, as he was heading out. I sat there and had my 2nd Clif Bar. I had another bar and a bagel left for the rest of the day, but I figured out I would be able to eat something as soon as I get to the pass, so I wolfed down the last Clif Bar on the spot, as well. The bagel will do for the rest of the day.
Further on, I passed Sizzler again, and had some steep climbs around the watershed area, the brings water to Seattle. I started seeing many day hikers, that came in from a dirt road a bit up the trail. Sizzler and I kept leap frogging each other, until we reached some creek where we planned to take a break. I had my final bagel, and was literally left with no food in my backpack. not even a single m.
Hiking on, a couple of day hikers were walking along with Sizzler and chatting with him. I hiked with them a few minutes, before increasing the pace and  moving faster. Just before Ollalie creek there were tons of huckleberries along the trail. I finally stopped and each a bunch, and also tried collecting some in a ziplock, to bring with me down to Bellvue.
I started hearing the noises of the I-90, a bit like a rolling river, from afar. After a short walk along a dirt road, I could actually see the interstate from above. But it was still 4 miles away on the trail. And the trail actually climbed up, where we all knew it should just get down to the road!
After hiking along a little pond, I was happy to see the Snoqualamie Pass Lodge, and the entire rest area, from above. I kept on hiking on the trail, and did not take the shortcut route down along the ski slope, just because I'm anal like this. But it was a good thing - as I was nearing the road to the Chevron store, I saw a man standing and smoking by his car. As I moved closer, he asked me if I was a PCT hiker, and I replied that I was. He then asked me if I am Noam, which took me by surprise. I thought that I'd get to the pass at around 16:00 (which was, indeed, the time), and then I'll call Yulia, and her husband, Dima, would drive up here and pick me up in the evening. I didn't think he'd be waiting for me here. Good thing I arrived just on time.
We drove over to the Chevron, to pick up my package, and I said hello to all the hikers hanging around - Juneau, Rimshot & Kit, Luna, Slaughterhouse, Sizzler, Banjo, and probably some more I didn't notice, and then started the drive down to Bellvue.
It wasn't a short drive, and it was at the end of Labor Day Weekend, but luckily, the bad weather had probably scared away many of the weekend hikers, so the roads were all clear on the way down. We stopped at a park in Bellvue, and picked up Yulia and Nick. It was strange finally meeting Yulia. She said she checked, and we have "met" online about 15 years ago. It was in the days when the internet was made out of gray pages, and we were both frequenting "The David Bowie Page" (later renamed to TeenageWildlife) and writing on the Guest Book there. Ancient history.
Yulia made some great falafel, and I had it in a pita. mm... I love falafel. We stayed and talked until real people midnight, which is much later than hiker midnight, and it was very nice.