Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day 132 Pesky Mice and Squeaky Trees

Day 132
September 29
26 miles
PCT mile 2576

All I had on the brain today was..."Must get to Stehekin, must get to Stehekin." Stehekin is my last resupply stop of the PCT. I knew once I got in and out of my last resupply town, there would be no turning back and I was really going to finish this thing. It's an emotional feeling...that words are difficult to describe, I cried several times today and pretty much everyday the last few days. Everytime I envision myself reaching the monument at the Canadian border it brings tears to my eyes. It's a feeling of overwhelming awe and accomplishment, it's hard to wrap my mind around what I am about to finish, but I know there is greatness in what I am about to complete . That being said, I am weary of being overconfident and know it hasn't happened yet, I still have several days and just under 100 miles to go and there's still a lot of weather and other things that could happen between here and there.

Did I say just under 100 miles? I broke the 100 mile mark today!!! 84 miles to the Canadian border, wow!!!

I had 30 miles to get to the bus stop to take me to Stehekin, I didn't think I had anymore 30s in me, but I was going to go as far as my body allowed and get as close as I could today. That ended up being 26 miles. My ankles and feet were screaming after 25 miles and I pushed another mile, but to do another 4 miles in the dark wasn't in the books for me, I felt it would push my body past it's limit and make for a tough day tomorrow. The first bus to Stehekin was at 9am tomorrow morning. It was much eaiser for me to get up early and get 4 miles down before 9am then continue to walk in pain tonight. Stomper, who I had been hiking with since the Dinsmore's, was going on to do the 30 and camp near the bus stop, "I'll see you around 8:30 tomorrow morning," I told him as he continued on down the trail. Hornsby was somewhere behind me and wasn't sure if I'd see him yet tonight or not. So I set up camp solo, ate dinner, and settled in for the night. I was exhausted and looking forward to sleep. The alarm was set for 5:45am to ensure I'd make the first bus into Stehekin tomorrow.

It wasn't even 5 minutes after I'd zipped up my tent and was getting comfy that I heard some scurrying around the outside of my tent. Ahhh...mice. Northern Washington has a serious mouse problem. For the past week we've been invaded by mice every night in camp. I looked around my tent and made sure I had everything that could possibly attract a mouse sealed up in my Op-Sak bags (odor proof bags). Then the ridiculousness started. This mouse crawled under my rainfly and onto and over my tent and perched right above my head on the netting of my tent..."get out of here"...I shook him off my tent. Not three minutes later he was back. At this point as I shook him off and screaming obscenities at this little sucker. He came back a third time and started chewing on the ties to the tent zipper, so I tucked those into the tent and zipped up tight, so he couldn't get at them. "Great," I thought to myself, "I'm going to wake up to this mouse inside my tent in the middle of the night," imagining what a scene that would be to witness.

As I laid there trying to fall asleep keeping my ears open for the mouse, the wind picked up causing a nearby tree to squeak and moan as it blew in the wind. It didn't help that I encountered this sign earlier today:

I was camped in a clear area so I was quite sure I was safe from whichever tree was on its last root of life, but nonetheless listening to it was a bit unsettling as I was also trying my best to guard myself and my tent against a potential mouse invasion.

Somehow, sleep eventually came, and luck be on my side, no mouse holes in my tent.

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