Day 102, august 4th
Start: camp at mile 2297
End: camp at bumping creek, mile 2317
Miles hiked: 20
I wake up early – the Mosquitos are up and at it again just after 5:00, I meet three young guys – the support team for stringbeam. Stringbeam is attempting (and about to break) the fastest supported hike on the pct. He’s on pace for 52 days. 52 days
I hike down the slopes of white pass ski resort and down to the pass. When I get there, I see stringbeam. He looks to be 6’3″ to 6’4″, and skinny as can be. My waist is definitely bigger around than his. With long, muscular legs, he looks bread for thru-hiking quickly.
I quickly chat him up, and realize how young he is – college aged. He’s an absolute pleasure to talk to; he’s hiking for his cousin, and is fully enjoying the trail. When you hear of fkt (fastest known times), you usually hear how miserable those people are as they hike. He is the opposite. Talking of the beauty of the trail and how he wants to come back and re-see what he has hiked by. A truly humble guy who is doing something amazing! I had rice crispy snap a picture of us (she could barely do it she was so enamored with him), and wished him well. I left feeling extremely inspired by him. Hiking so fast yet staying so positive, upbeat, and motivated. Even taking ten minutes to chat with other thru-hikers. Very cool.
We make our way to white pass gas station and hang out for several hours while others trickle in. The mood is grim; many in the group seem to be losing their hiking mojo. They’re tired, worn out, and getting down due to the monotony of hiking every day for so long. It’s totally understandable on such a long trail. Many decide to go into packwood, the nearest town, and take some time to build spirits back up.
I, however, feel amazing. I feel like I’m hitting my stride! Strong days, my feet no longer hurt like they used to, and I’m just loving the trail. I sense the mood, and decide to hike on. Plus, brainstorm and tiny are here!!! And they’re hiking out. They both have tier hiking mojo on, and have been having a blast lately, so I hike out with them. I haven’t seen either of them since Sierra city, some 1,000 miles ago. It’s great to hike with them, hear their stories and bond. But soon i fall behind. They’re both giants and hike so fast! My short little legs just can’t keep up!
I end up meeting them at bumping creek with rice crispies and carrot, who also hiked out. We all share stories and have a great time with each other. It’s good to all be here. Everyone still hungry for scenery and miles. I’m really hoping that brainstorm and tiny stick around till the end. It’s coming soon. So soon, and I’m starting to feel weird about it. Not sure if I’m ready to be off the pct…