143. August 31: Mile 2284.20 Hidden Spring to Mile 2295.17 Sand Lake
Finally, after a long slog through a tumultuous first week in the now beautiful State of Washington, we arrived in town. Well, it’s not really a town. Actually there really isn’t any towns through Washington, but for today town was a gas station convenience store that certainly catered to hikers. They had heat lamp fried food (I had the chicken tenders and corn dog, both of which were delicious) and a solid selection of snacks and such. We were able to charge our batteries for our devices while we ate, relaxed and tried to come up with a plan for getting around this fire.
When we arrived at the store we were told by other hikers that the first 30 miles of the 52 mile closure had been reopened and there’s a good highway to hitch from upon reaching the 30 mile point. From there, there really isn’t a good place to get back on the trail before Snoqualmie Pass so we’re just going to hitch there. We should still wind up gaining like three days and could possibly catch or perhaps even pass Dr. McDirty and Cougar which would be wonderful.
After doing our “town” chores like getting our resupply boxes, showering, and doing laundry, we got back on the trail around 5:00 PM. We resolved to only hike three miles today meaning we got at camp at 6:30. So early! Tomorrow we’ll do 21 miles which will be not too bad leaving only five the following day so we have all day to get to Snoqualmie Pass. So hopefully we won’t wind up killing ourselves like we did on the last section. Plus, we have four days worth of food for effectively a day and a half so we won’t have to worry about that either.