Thursday, August 28, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
It's about 17 miles up the Hoh River Trail to get to the Blue Glacier. I was planning on doing the trip in 3 days - hiking in 10.5 miles to Lewis Meadows, hiking up to the glacier and back the next day, camping at Lewis Meadows again, and then hiking out.
My hard work was rewarded, though, by the Blue Glacier. After trudging up the moraine and pausing for awhile to watch an outdoor adventure group made up of 50-something men and a few teenagers learn how to self-arrest on snow ("Watch out you don't stab yourself with the ice axe on your way down!") I came over a ridge to the scene below.
I think I almost wept. To see a glacier that big that close was amazing and overwhelming and humbling. And to drink in the cool almost alpine air after being in the rainforest for an excruciating 16 miles was just as good.
After tottering down to the glacier and kissing it (just to say I'd done it), I sat down to stare at its massiveness for awhile. I thought about walking back to Lewis Meadows. I thought about how hot and sticky I was. I thought about the second soggy sandwich I had for dinner and the fact that I had finished the only book I had brought last night. And I was out of gummy bears. It was then that I decided that I could not spend another night sweating in a bivy sack. I wanted a shower and a beer and my king size bed. So I hitched up my pack and walked out. Through mile after mile after mile after endless mile of green dripping ferns, nurselogs, and hemlocks. It was like the Heart of Darkness backwards. Stupid Rainforest.
25.5 miles for the day all in all. 11 hours. My personal best. Only 3 enormous blisters to show for it and I was home in time to watch the Olympics with a burger, a milkshake, and a happy dog. Glad I went, but glad to be home.
Some people feel like going backpacking by themselves gives them time to think and be by themselves and commune with nature. I definitely enjoyed the challenge and the reward of getting to see that amazing glacier. I even enjoyed the rainforest. But I live by myself in a national park. I spend lots of time thinking by myself and communing with nature. Maybe next time I'll just do a dayhike.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Alas, I found no tattoo shops. Perhaps I didn't look in the right places oweing to my pedestrian status. What I did find, however, was a great little brew pub and a plethora of pig statues. Beer and pigs. Two things that always make me smile.
And Porkchop was there waiting to welcome me...