… I look back to the state of Washington and slowly recap the roller-coaster of emotions I have been through: joy and fear, pain and laughter, amazement and confusion, new-found friends and helpful strangers, lonely nights and shared dinners, …
The Bridge of the Gods spans the mighty Columbia River, connecting the states of Washington and Oregon. Over the last 12 days I had hiked 321 miles / 517 kilometres going from Steven’s Pass over Snoqualmie and Chinook Pass all the way to the small town of Cascade Locks. An average of 26.5 miles / 43 kilometres or more than a full marathon every day, crossing some of rugged terrain of the Cascades.
After spending the first two weeks hiking alone, I had finally gotten company for this part of the hike. I spent a lot of time hiking together with Remy, who is a triple-crowner and just finished his degree in Economics-Mathematics, and Matt, like me a little bit less experienced and working on his Architecture degree.
I met them both while staying at the Dinsmore’s in Baring and we decided to try and match our hiking styles for the next stretch. I went fairly well and it was great to share dinner and stories in the camp after a day of hiking.
So what happened in these last two weeks
– I swam in a lot of lakes along the way
– I hiked up Old Snowy in the Goat Rock Wilderness during what was probably the best day in Washington
– We met our first North Bounders (people who start at the Mexican border and go up North)
– I have grown an almost unsatisfiable hiker hunger
– We got assaulted by bugs a couple of times
– We got some amazing gifts of random people we met on the trail
– Matt had to leave the trail because of a stress fracture
– I constantly raised my hiking distance up to doing even a 32 mile / 51 kilometres day
– All the snow has been melted away and I carried an ice-axe for this stretch which only helped when digging catholes
– I got injured myself on the last couple of days hiking in to Cascade Locks
That last one is probably the most important one. The last couple of days in Washington were pretty intense, long days with lots of up and down hill. At some point my left shin started hurting a lot. The only way out was just to go further, which only increased the pain.
I’ve been taking a lot of pain killers since then and actually bailed out to Portland for a couple of days of healing. It’s been great, Remy set me up with a couple of friends of him and I just spent the weekend here relaxing and gorging on great food.
I’m heading out this afternoon. Hitch-hike my way back to Cascade Locks and hope to be back on the trail again tomorrow.
You can find more pictures here!