|I didn't get this kind of body from chocolate milkshakes |
all day. Sometimes I have a vanilla instead! HA!
Amanda and I stopped at Safeway for a few food items, but my mail drop had the bulk of what I'd need for the next section of trail. We also stopped at Jack in the Box because by golly, I was in civilization and I wanted fast food, and as many calories as I could consume. I ordered the Deli Trio sandwich, a large fries, and a large drink.
Amanda doesn't much care for Jack In the Box, but while driving up to Snoqualmie Pass, she was badmouthing the company. "I don't know why you like that crap. It's terrible!"
I nodded agreeably. "Yes, it's crap, but damn it's good!"
Amanda looked at my sandwich, asking what it was. "Deli trio. Good." And took another bite.
"That doesn't actually look too bad," she continued.
"Did you want to try a bite?" I offered.
Amanda accepted the offer and took a big bite. "That's pretty good, actually."
"Yeah, I know!" =)
|Amanda drops me off at the trailhead.|
When Amanda dumped me out at Snoqualmie Pass, it wasn't raining, but the clouds and fog certainly looked menacing, and it did look like it had been raining earlier in the morning. I left my Jack trash with Amanda to dispose of properly, shouldered my pack, and started hiking hard. I wanted to get as many miles in as possible before it started raining again. If I was really lucky, maybe I could even set up camp and stay warm and dry under my tarp before it started. Gotta move, though!
The climb up from Snoqualmie Pass was steep, climbing thousands of feet within a few miles. The higher I climbed, the more the clouds turned into fog, and fat drops of fog attacked. It wasn't rain, but I was getting wet. I finally seemed to reach the crest again where the trail would level out (more or less), and I was zooming along quickly near Ridge Lake when I heard a SNAP and my pack shifted.
CRAP! I stopped to assess the situation. The buckle on my shoulder strap broke. I thought the strap itself had broke, my sewing had failed, but it was just the buckle. My sewing was solid as ever. Somehow, this comforted me. I felt better knowing that the pack didn't break because of my sewing. It wasn't MY fault. Stupid buckle. I could blame Seattle Fabrics, where I bought the buckle. =) (If you're ever looking for outdoor fabrics, BTW, that's where I bought packcloth, silicone impregnated nylon, and other specialized fabrics you won't find in most stores.)
|The trail crosses under I-90 as Amanda drives away...|
As luck would have it, I actually had a spare buckle in my pack! The buckle on my strap had broke coming down Forester Pass, and I tied a knot in the straps to hobble together something that worked long enough to get me into town to replace it. I managed to score a replacement buckle from hikers coming in the other direction, trading my sunscreen for it. Knotting the straps ended up working so well, though, I never even bothered to replace the buckle. But I was still carrying the replacement buckle all this time, too lazy to actually replace it.
This time, the buckle broke in such a way that tying the straps together with a knot wasn't going to cut it. Nope, this time, the buckle needed to be replaced completely.
I pulled out my miniature sewing kit (a lesson learned from my test run of the first home-made backpack on the West Coast Trail) and proceeded to cut out my original stitches to free the broken buckle. And, boy, let me tell you, I did an excellent job of sewing that buckle on. I had a devil of a time freeing it! The stitching had held up incredibly well and was as solid as the day I sewed it. Very difficult to free the buckle, especially when it's cold and wet.
I put on another layer of clothes--this would take awhile to fix, and now that I wasn't hiking, the chill started to set in.
|Stupid broken buckle.....|
All told, I spent a half hour repairing my pack. I hurried as best I could, and thank goodness it wasn't pouring rain at the time. In my haste, I did stick myself with a needle a couple of times, and cursed the lack of a thimble. Maybe I should add that to my miniature sewing kit for next time.
But I got it back together and continued hiking. I was thick in the fog now, and at one point, the trail traversed the side of a steep cliff that freaked me out a little. Because of the fog, I couldn't see the bottom of the cliff, and that made me a little nervous. It looked like a bottomless pit. If I jumped, I'd continue falling forever. Of course, that was ridiculous, but I couldn't get that feeling out of my head and it bothered me greatly. At least if I fell off a cliff with a bottom, there was an END to it. This cliff seemed to have no end....
|The new buckle is sewed on, and I took a photo of it next to the old one for comparison. =) |
Just a matter of slipping off the old one and threading the strap through the new buckle.
So I set up camp near a viewpoint of Joe Lake. The rain didn't start coming down with enthusiasm until just after 8:00 as darkness descended.
|This toggle had broken quite some time ago. It cinches the top of my pack closed.|
But I never bothered to fix this one. =) How much longer will this home-made pack go on?!
|This cliff made me a little nervous. Not being able to see the|
bottom of it really bothered me!
|I'm sure the views would have been spectacular if it wasn't for all the fog. =(|
|Joe Lake, if I remember correctly. You can see a switchback of the PCT down there too!|
(The trail doesn't actually go all the way down to the lake, though.)
|Camped out next to the trail, under my tarp. Rain was|
definitely in the forecast!