Distance hiked today: 17 miles / 27.4 km.
I peaked at the sunrise through my tent mesh - last sunrise on trail.
We hiked the last 17 miles back to Hart's Pass, and it started pouring rain just as we arrived at the van.
Then we got a curveball - the narrow gravel road up had 9 mud slides yesterday from heavy rain, making the road impassable. We were told it could be 3 days before it was cleared…
Most hikers have flights booked to get home from Seattle, buses to catch, etc. It's a 13 mile walk down, and everyone's eaten all their food at this point expecting to be headed into town. So other people stuck up here were giving hikers rides down to the first mudslide, then hikers walked 2 miles across the slides, and the fire department was shuttling from below the slides down to the highway.
Colin and I stayed with the van, handing out beers, and we saw Neighbour whom I haven't seen since the Sierras.
They had crews working on the road, and the head guy was driving up and down on his dual-sport motorcycle to give updates to the rangers. It was apparently passable by motorcycle, much to Colin's delight, who was planning out how we could unload our dirt bikes from the van and head into town for food if we were stuck here a while.
A few hours later, they'd fixed the road just enough to let cars out, but weren't letting traffic in. So we jumped in and headed down. It was a sketchy road to begin with, now with muddy washed-out sections and ruts that were getting deeper with each vehicle. But little Wancu made it through, and we were free!
It feels like I was dodging bullets as chaos breaks out on the trail behind me. First getting ahead of the fires in Nor Cal and Oregon, and now there's a Norovirus outbreak among hikers in the Snoqualmie Pass area and the Washington Alpine Club cabin stopped hosting. Now with no cars at Hart's Pass, hikers have to walk an extra 13 miles to get to the highway. And finally, there's a forest fire that started near the border that isn't affecting the PCT yet, but you never know how a fire can move. Last year hikers weren't able to reach the terminus due to a fire - that would suck.
We drove to Raven's Roost in Mazama, a hiker hostel where I'd shipped insulin. Then headed to Windthrop where we met up with Giggles for dinner, and camped in her hostel's parking lot.
I still haven't showered or changed out of my hiking clothes - it's been a crazy day! We're planning to hit a waterpark tomorrow in Chelan where I'll have unlimited water for a deep clean, and spend most of the day in the lazy river.
Here ends the hiking saga. I love hiking, but I also love not hiking. So for now, on to other adventures. Nugget - OUT!