I have walked 500 miles ......and I will walk 2150 more! That first part sounds like something to celebrate until you read the second part but I am still celebrating! I've walked through the incredibly beautiful state of Washington! The state with the most elevation changes and the steepest sections I've walked over snowfislds and gripped my trekking poles tightly as I've maneuvered carefully across steep, snowy slopes. I've held my breath as I've trusted narrow sections of loose rocks not to give away along miles of a catwalk trail and watched as a giant rock fell from above wiping out the trail ten feet in front of me before continuing down the mountainside.. I've hiked through snow, hail, rain and scorching sun and come out at the other side stronger, leaner and more agile than I was twenty years ago. Yes, I'm celebrating!
Washington has absolutely blown me away with its beauty starting right from day one in the northern cascades. It was so beautiful that sometimes I would listen to the music I brought to distract me on the hard ups not because I was actually on a hard up but because I was stopping every few seconds to take another picture or cry because I couldn't believe the view or start laughing because I couldn't believe my good fortune at being here and seeing this. I know it's hard to believe but taking in too much beauty is so overwhelming! The Goat Rock Wilderness was another gorgeous section where it was hard not to get distracted by beauty in every single direction I would look.
And it's not just the trail that makes Washington so awesome but the people I have met here. Every little town has it's own character and the sense of community here is something that has been missing for decades where I am from. The kindness from total strangers still astounds me from the initial offer of help to pick me up at the ferry hours away and help me with my mail drops and get me to the trail to the man who just walked up to us as we were hanging out at Cascadia Inn and offered us a ride to the trail to the woman who overheard a part of a conversation and brought Moonshine to her home to shower and do laundry and then back to the trailhead. Washington is full of people who help the minute they see a need. Thank you Washington!
And I found a hiking partner in Washington! Rogue is great fun and I am so happy to be hiking with him! He always has me laughing at something, is very considerate and apologises even more than most Canadians (I will cure him of this and by the end of the trail we will both be badass and not sorry). And besides with trailnames like Trouble and Rogue we sound like we were destined to hike together. Because I am going southbound I didn't expect to see very many hikers and certainly didn't expect to meet anyone who had a similar pace as me or hiked the same number of miles each day. I have been amazed at the number of southbound hikers this year and have actually only camped on my own on three occasions. Thanks for everything Washington you have given me so much more than I expected!