Mile 2174.1 to 2204.7.

Pattering, the rustle of leaves, scurrying, the feeling of little feet running across my arm. I shot up and waved my arm frantically. Bedazzled was sitting up. Something was in my hair!” she yelled. Rodents! I shivered with the hebe jebbies and got my headlamp out and put it next to my sleeping pad.

I laid back down and closed my eyes. Five minutes later, I heard another rustle and shone my light. Less than one foot away from my head was a mouse and on the otherside of Bedazzled was some hopping kangaroo mouse with a long tail. “Something ran across the footbox of my sleeping bag,” said Bedazzled. 

Throughout the rest of the night, every five to ten minutes there was a new intrusion and I shone my light to fight back the critters.  Bedazzled took a lazzie fair approach and said, “you can’t stop them.” While saying this, she curled up behind me wrapped her sleeping bag around her head and used me as a wall to protect her. Great, I am the sacrificial lamb.

I continued my night time watch with one eye open. When I did fall asleep, I awoke to a rodent running across my sleeping pad or worse. I wished I had a mallet to crush those buggers to a bloody pulp.

The sky slowly brightened and my watch came to an end. This was by far the worst night of sleep on trail. Unfortunately, we need to cover at least 30 miles today so we can get to Trout Lake and get our next resupply box. “This sucks,” was all I could think.

We slowly packed up while we talked of exterminating all the rodents of the world. 

Early on, I had to answer the call of nature and was behind Bedazzled. I came to a junction where the trail crossed and closely paralleled a gravel road. I saw Bedazzled on the trail up ahead. She looked at me with a befuddled expression. “What the, how the, where did you come from?” she inquired. Bedazzled had taken the gravel road and where it crossed the PCT for a second time, she turned and started heading southbound on the trail. I am starting to think she really wants to hike back to Mexico.

Washington is quickly shaping up to be lovely on the whole. It has been the section I have been looking forward to the most. As soon as we crossed the Columbia River, we noticed a difference. There are more plants and variety in the understory, huckleberries and blue berries line the trail, and the mountains are starting to get more jagged.

Today, as we climbed up above the trees, I could see Mt. Hood behind me and Mt. Adams in front. The air was crystal clear and you could see the cracked glaciers on either mountain.

We both were pretty tired, but Bedazzled, especially, had been dragging behind and I hadn’t seen her most of the morning. I stopped at an amazing lunch spot with a view of Mt. Adams and waited. I started to eat my lunch after a time. When I finished that, I laid out. After 40 minutes, Bedazzled trudged in. She looked more bedraggled than bedazzled.
When we started walking again, it was downhill, but I felt like I was going to literally fall asleep while walking so we stopped in the shade and took a 30 minute nap.

Refreshed, we plodded out 14 miles and camped near a pond. We arrived just as the sun was setting, but unfortunately didn’t have any great views.

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