Mile 2290 to 2302
We wake to the familiar smell of smoke. The wind has shifted and not in our favor. Regardless we get an early jump and head down the trail towards White Pass. We pass through what must be a remedial elk camp. Elk seem to always be in herds, yet these are loaners. One is over here, another way over there. As we switchback down the 2 miles to the highway, one occasionally bolts wildly away. We wonder what they did to be ostracized from the herd. It is possible they are simply kicked out males, but none has any signs of a rack. They move too quickly for us to check out any other traditional forms of gender identification.
We arrive at the White Pass Krackle Barrel store at 7:10am. In spite of the fact they serve gourmet coffees, they do not open until 8:00am. Kevin gives me a look that clearly says “You owe me 50 minutes of sleep.” When the doors finally open we run to the electric outlets to start charging cell phones, iPods and external batteries. We pick up the box sent by Terri. It contains food and Kevin’s new to this trip but dreaded Brooks Cascadia 10’s. They are dreaded because the Cascadia 10s have a terrible reputation for completely falling apart on thru-hikers. Kevin straps his old shoes on his pack, fearing that at some point he may need to go back to them.
While charging our electronics we run up a tab including English muffins stuffed with egg, ham and cheese; chocolate milk, fruit drinks, a block of cheese and ice cream. Other thru-hikers offer up homemade treats from their resupply boxes including huge chocolate chip cookies stuffed with an Oreo cookie and chocolate/peanut butter brownies. The folks at the store are very friendly and we do not at all feel rushed.
Once our stomachs and electronics are recharged, we re-charge down the trail towards Snow Lake. The 10 mile hike is surprisingly easy, especially since our packs are bursting with food. The smoke remains noticeable but at least does not get worse. At the lake we setup an early camp and enjoy the Trader Joe’s Indian curry dishes with rice. It is a great change from the monotony of Knorr Sides with tuna.
It is a Saturday so there are lots of weekend families that made the 10 mile hike to a pretty lake. We are glad we grabbed the best site before they all got here. I lie in my tent and sew my ripping pant legs. The results are amazing. In fact if you didn’t know any better you would swear they just had their appendix removed in a Vietnam MASH unit during a bombing raid caused power outage. It’s not pretty, but I am just trying to keep them alive.