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Mile 2186.7–2206.2 (19.5 miles)
Rose: finishing my book Thorn: chilly cold and windy, trying to find a campsite at EOD Bud: hopefully warmer temps 🤞, cruiser elevations
Today is not a day for wildflowers and sunshine. Today is a gloomy gray Northwest day where you can feel the wind in the wet air. The humidity chills my bones. Everything is gently lighted by omnipresent clouds.
We are cold when we leave our tents. We are cold when we are hiking. We are shivering at lunch. I have eaten all of my snacks by lunch in my body’s effort to stay warm. We both are half wearing rain jackets for the warmth but then it got a little sweaty on the uphill.
We both made hot things for lunch. Ramen for me. Then tea and coffee for Beans and me, respectively. We have pulled out our sweaters/puffies and wrapped our bare legs in whatever we could find in our packs. We are still chilled. I have dreamed and listed all the layers I wish I was carrying, all the layers I would be wearing if this was a day hike. I am definitely having Casey send out some layers.
We encounter some trail magic at the Indian Heaven Trailhead. A cooler and food left over on a picnic table. It’s all a little sketch. We nibble watermelon, but it sat too long in the sun and is a little alcohol-y and soft. Inside the cooler, neither of us have a taste for beer but we hesitate and then succumb to some day old pasta grossly stored in cut open milk jugs. I don’t want to scoop it out with my spoon (norovirus is going around after all), so we attempt to pour it into provided cups. Meatballs and fusilli litter the ground from my impatient attempts. I half regret eating any, but so far (8 hours later), I have not felt any negative consequences.
We climb up and down the aptly named Berry Mountain. I can tell that there’s usually stunning views of Hood, Adams, and St Helens from its different aspects, but they’re all shrouded in cloud. The wind is up now in the evening. We both expect rain imminently. The storm is coming. I pack my dry layers deeper in my liner and zip up my rain jacket. We hussle toward Blue Lake, our destination for the evening.
We knew that Blue Lake would be crowded and probably full with the Saturday crowd. All the designated campsites are occupied. With the cold wind, every one has retreated inside their tents. We have to loudly ask if we can cohabitate their site. The first couple rudely reminds us that there are other campsites around the lake (we have checked all of them). We huddle in the gusting winds trying to decide what to do. We head to Tombstone Lake off of Blue Lake. The group there is kinder and tells us that there is a free campsite up the hill. Mercifully, the wind is lesser at this lake.
We quickly set up our tents and climb into our sleeping bags for warmth. Dinner can wait fifteen minutes. We have to share a stove now, because I ran out of fuel at lunch (because Inlistened to Beans about not needing a new fuel cannister). As I’m taking the second round making dinner, I hear a yelp from Beans’ tent. She has spilt her entire ramen in her tent and is trying to mop it up. :-( I’m not much help to her so I continue making a good meal: frying up bacon bits in oil then cooking polenta in the bacon grease with a little hot sauce. K