PCT: Day 164: Temporary rain delay

PCT Washington

Miles today: 0
Trail miles sum: 1842.5
Trail location: 2524.8
Elevation: 3603
Reading: George R. Stewart: Earth Abides

Today has been very rainy. I awoke at 5AM, heard the rain pounding on the tent and resent the alarm for 7AM. At 7AM the rain was still coming down in buckets. I turned off the alarm and slept until 8:45. Since I had time on my hands I cooked my cold soaked oatmeal. It so much better when it’s warm!

PCT Washington
Drying everything

I’m looking ahead at the weather for the next week and I’m feeling rather anxious. I’m only about 120 miles from Canada but rain is in the forecast for each day. Last year snow started falling during the third week of September in one of the mountain passes that I need to go through.

Unfortunately, I did need to exit the tent at one point this morning to poop. I know our dogs in heaven were laughing at me and poking each other in the ribs. Pouring rain and I’m crouching in the trees trying to be “quick”. Our dogs never liked pooping in the rain and would often give us the most mournful eyes when we insisted that they poop before coming back inside.

PCT Animals
Reindeer Buddy

Last week I was contacted by two different companies about future employment. One company had a position that I’m seriously interested in discussing. I’ve been watching this company for a few years. I told them of my current hike and future travel plans. They wished me well…It’s challenging to live in the present each day and not get wrapped up in finding a job again. That’ll come at a later date.

I’ve consciously avoided thinking about future employment. When I start to think about it, I try to push it out of my thoughts. I suspect I could return to my previous employer if I really wanted to, and that kind of gives me a measure of comfort. I’m just trying to focus on hiking at the moment. I remind myself that we have a financial plan in place and I just need to relax.

One thing that has been odd to me as I’m hiking is the general silence from most (not all!) of my work friends. It’s really odd, the silence. I’m not sure what I expected, but…maybe I hadn’t cultivated the friendships that I thought I had developed over the years. A good friend of ours gave me some input when I discussed this journey with her. “How your friends and family respond to your adventure may have far more to do with them than it does to you.”

Tomorrow it looks like I have a nasty set of switch backs to navigate. I think I’ve kind of reached a point of “meh, whatever” about difficult trail sections. Earlier in the hike it was a question of “can I do this?” Now I know, that I can in fact, “do this”. It may hurt, I may moan and groan, but I can handle it.

Guthook Screenshot
A whole lot of switchbacks

I was so happy when it started to get dark tonight. I popped a sleeping pill, put on my eye patches, plugged in my ear buds and went to sleep super, super early.


  1. Chainsaw Manlove

    I miss hearing your morning post work coffee bathroom break in the stall next to me each day. You are gone but not forgotten.

  2. Heidi L Halverson

    The company that laid me off when I was three months pregnant. Yeah, I’m not surprised. It goes. People are people, work is a necessary evil that most try to make the best of. Please don’t take it personally.

    For shits and giggles think of someone, like Brian, out there hiking with you. It makes me laugh to think of it. I’m so tough with my scottish accent, so superior to all you lowly americans… stumbling through the wilderness. Idk, but it makes me laugh. Having a work friend out there could your worst nightmare. I think an active imagination would help to alleviate the drudgery.

  3. Gregory Fast

    Wow! I can’t imagine how hard some of this must be for you. We had eight days of hiking in the rain on the Camino and it wasn’t even a hard rain like you are experiencing. It still got me down. You really have a lot of dedication to keep going in the face of rain until the end of Washington.

    • mcgarveysan

      It’s such a fine line between dedication and foolishness!

  4. Vfat

    “Work friends” indeed. Left a role at a company I’d been at for nine years. Corporate office had 150 people; had known them all for years. As a director I’d didn’t socialize much, but certainly friendly with everyone, and particularly with my team and peers. Nine years.

    After I left? Silence. Unless someone wanted a reference or recommendation. I took it very personally, and thought that the problem was me. Wife ultimately corrected me – it is a “work friends” thing. Whatever the seeming quality they are role-based relationships, and accordingly a fair amount of role-playing goes on. Can’t take it personally.

    Interesting thing is…the single still-functioning relationship that remains from there – the real friend – is a member of one of the local tribes, a big biker guy with drug problems and a love for Min-Pins. He’s real, compassionate, funny and insightful, and very, very different than me.

    A zero in the Hornet? Must have gotten a lot of reading done. Hope your feet were warm!

    • mcgarveysan

      Thanks for your comment! I hadn’t really thought about the role based relationship aspect to the transition.


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