Noelle here:

I guess technically it’s the last full day in Washington, as Steve will have about ten miles left tomorrow to get to the monument and 8.5 to get to the van.

There’s been a ton of trail magic for the hikers in Washington but I think everyone is still ready to wrap it up. The rain in the last two weeks is hard on bodies.

It’s hard on me and I can choose to stay in the van if I want. I’m tired of being cold all day. Tired of long separations from Steve. Just tired at this point.

One night recently I was awakened at 2:45 to some yahoo doing cookies in the parking lot. I was still at Stevens Pass where the lot is huge. The guy drove around spinning cookies, in what looked like his mom’s car for almost forty-five minutes. Coming dangerously close to the van a couple times and even closer to a huge light pole which I was positive would fall on me should he hit it. Finally, he peed for about five straight minutes and then politely used his turn signal to exit the parking lot.

My adrenaline was too high to sleep again for several hours. Then the next night I was awake every hour in anticipation of being awakened by another fool doing cookies.

Finally I saw Steve for an afternoon and night. He took a Nero at the van. I can’t even tell you how good it was to see him. I’m at Rainy Pass now. We’d hoped to meet back up at Hart’s Pass (what’s with all the passes in WA?) but I heard the road was sliding from last weekend’s storm. Some Guthook comments had me scared to drive on it anyway.

“The drive down from here, at least in a Vanagon, will age you ten years.”

“Got an easy hitch from here, although the drive down was harrowing.”

Combined with Mad Baker saying he won’t drive his truck up there anymore because last year the shale literally cut his tire.

I was getting more nervous about driving up there so I wasn’t too sad to read about the washout. Is that selfish? I like to think I’m being wise. 🤣🤣🤣

Fun Buns and Raven passed by at Stevens Pass. So good to see them one more time. They were surely missing their buddy, Skyline, and it was crazy to see the two of them without him. But I’m glad he made a wise choice for his knee so that he can come back out and hike again without permanent damage.

I also got to see Shady again! She caught up to me so i hung out with her for part of a morning then hiked with her in the afternoon. So fun and great for my spirits!

And I saw the German girls! They were right behind Steve in getting to Rainy Pass. We’ll give them a ride from Manning Park if they’re close enough to Steve. Cheeks & Trouble are also hoping for a ride. I think we’ll have a full van tomorrow if it all works out.

I’m trying to just think about today and stay present in it. The hike here at Rainy Pass is beautiful but I’m getting so excited about hiking to the monument tomorrow and seeing Steve get there!

What a crazy wild adventure. From excited highs to really low lows and then right back up again.