Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Wahtum Lake (522) – Ramona Falls (545.8): 23.8 miles / 459.8 total miles walked
As I woke up by the lake, I somehow knew it was going to be a slightly different kind of day.
Today was the day I would again walk the path I had already walked in 2014. Same tread, same earth, but such different circumstances.
After packing up leisurely we left the lake rather late, at around 6:15, climbing gently but steadily for a few miles.
At the top of the climb we reached the intersection with the Eagle Creek Trail, an alternative to the PCT, that I had hiked in 2014. And also, there was the spot where Sarah and I had camped that time.
It is strange to think of that hike…and her, as it always is when people are no longer there and all you have of them are memories.
I took a moment of silence and then continued on walking before I started to cry.
It was extremely windy up on the ridge, but beautiful. And the wind took with it the rest of the sadness and the past, allowing me to see the trail with new eyes, unclouded by the past.
A short while later I got passed by Airborne, heading south at breakneck speed. I had last seen him at the Dinsmore’s in Skykomish, heading north. Apparently he’s well on the way to complete his yo-yo hike of the PCT (starting in Mexico, going to Canada and then coming back down again).
There was quite a dry stretch today and the few water sources were almost dry. Also, it got really hot in the afternoon with a climb and a long steep descent right after.
Prime chafe danger…..which is of course what happened….again. 🙄
I got the first hazy view of Mt. Hood and somehow Sink and I decided that we would try and make it to Ramona Falls for the night.
Ramona is a beautiful cascading waterfall that lies on an alternate trail paralleling the PCT for about 2.5 miles. The last two miles I could barely walk. My inner thighs, right up top at the panty line were rubbed raw. I mean a bright, angry red with welts in the skin. It hurt so bad I was almost moaning from the pain.
Sink was my savior once again, staying with me until we reached the waterfall.
So what do you do if your entire crotch feels like it is rubbed raw? You sit down in a freezing cold creek and soak off the salt from your skin. It actually helped a lot. That, and some antibiotic cream are my go to for treating chafing.
At the flat area next to the water we set up our tents and chatted with Odie for a while, a SOBO section hiker who wants to put together a hiker yearbook…
After almost 24 miles I was so done for the day. It was also the first night I made a double dinner, one pot of food just not being enough to satiate the hunger. Because of our big day today, we only have 10 miles to go to Timberline Lodge and the famous buffet.
Keeping you posted…