At 2022 – Day 34: 15.4 miles (369.8 miles total)

It rained hard, and I could see lightening flashing from behind my closed eyes. I stayed dry though and no rain splashed in my tent this time.

The morning was dry (well, nothing is ever dry out here, there is a persasive dampness to everything, myself included), and the walking was flat. That’s right! Not a typo! The first five miles of the day were FLAT!

On top of that the trail was lined with berries. It seemed like no one was eating these beauties because there were so many, so, I did my part and grazed my way through first snack. Later I found out everyone had been eating their way down the trail….that’s how many berries there were in that section!

I arrived at Zealand Falls Hut to find some of the sobos I knew and a few I didn’t. More arrived as I basked in the rare ray of sunshine in the misty and cloudy day. The weather over the presidential traverse had bunched us up…there were about 20 sobos within a day of each other…we are the bubble!

The hut had gingerbread out for sale – gingerbread is one of my favorites so I had two giant pieces with some coffee. I’m loving these hut snacks!!!! The waterfalls were pretty cool too, another feature I know Kirk would love. I keep thinking that I need to bring him out here so we can paddle, ski, hike, and adventure in these places together. I think he would love it. Kirk has gone full kayak bro this summer since I’ve been hiking. He’s been kayaking 2-3 times a day some days! We live close to the whitewater play park in Bend and he’s gone back to his first love: play boating, and has even enticed our friend Tosch into the sport (Tosch makes the phanny pack I’m wearing on the trail…check out his company, Free Range Equipment). Play boating is when you paddle in a standing wave and then do tricks, spins, cartwheels, flips…it’s the freestyle fun of kayaking. Kirk is immersing himself in the river while I’m immersing myself in the trail….😁

I walk through the day, through some clouds and around the rumble of thunder, but nothing falls from the sky. Bits of views pop up here and there, it’s a pretty nice day of walking.

I put on a new podcast, Off Trail, and choose an episode with Cookie Monster, a hiker I met on the CDT, and now owns the coffee company Triple Crown Coffee. Give it a listen, he is a kindred spirit and I love how he explains his passion for coffee, hiking, adventure, and life.

I wasn’t sure how far I would hike today, but with the easy walking this morning I found the miles adding up. When I got to Garfield Ridge Campsite I did the math and saw I was only 10 miles from the next road and where I was due to meet NEMO the day after tomorrow. Hmmm. After hearing from some other hikers about the hostels they were going to stay at when they reached the road, I decided I would go too. I could have about 24 hours to rest up before NEMO got here, and then would be ready to immerse myself in the woods for a week with her. I called the new hostel that had been getting rave reviews in North Woodstock and made a reservation. I’m excited!

Now sleep.

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