Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Arrived in Stehekin

Arrived in the beautiful town of Stehekin in Northern Washington. The last section of trail was the dodgey Glacier Peak section with unmaintained trails and many blown down trees. Bad Packer and I did the road walk, which is the safest and fastest route. We quickly caught up with Teatree, Heidi and Feather. Since our plan was to catch up with the others we were pleased to catch some folks so soon (after just 2 hours!). Teatree and co had been taking it easy for a while and having a blast.

We met the other crew the next day - Out of Order, Fester, Rocham, Grimace, Sweep. Pretty soon in came NAFTA and Out There. Speedstick appeared from nowhere. She seems to be dragging her heels since we are coming to the end of an amazing journey and nobody really wants it to end - just 4 days left to Canada and most folks have done the whole 2,500 miles to here.

There is an awesome bakery there where we spent several hours yesterday playing cranium. Very funny. Cultural problems stood in the way of me and Teatree communicating effectively. I had to draw the action 'Cartwheel' and was surprised when they didnt get it. To Americans a cartwheel is an acrobatic tumbling turn and not a "Wagon Wheel". The Hiking Poles, Many Names and Lake the Lake, from Poland, understood my drawing but everyone else thought it hysterically funny. I think they are back at the bakery now for round 2. I struggled to find a team mate with my cultural problem so I'll head down and watch the action later!

I will very surely miss it out here. We had a lovely campfire last night and rather too much beer. I awoke at 4am for a pea and was disappointed to see my camping mat deflated. I began to think it punctured again but then remembered I was probably too drunk to remember to blow it up to begin with. I lost my hiking pole but found that under my tent - I had been sleeping on it. A rough night you might think, but not soo - beautiful out here! The low altitude has given us some warmer weather but for 35 miles out of here we climb 6,000 feet. A little daunting.

Teatree, NAFTA, Out There and me have decided to take another day off here. It's such a wonderful place. There are cars here but the road doesnt go anywhere! You have to arrive by boat or sea plane! Oats and Moonshade are here relaxing and are getting married in a couple of days (in their hiker gear of course).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New photos

I've just uploaded a few more photos.

Hope you like them. I have hiked alone quite a bit across washington which may account for my sudden interest in photographing mushrooms!

Squirrel Fight Club - The Movie

An excellent spring was to be found by some considerable bushwacking through the forest - great water. I got a bit lost on the way back to the trail and stumbled into a Squirrel Fight Club arena. I shot some movie footage of it...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Snoqualmie Pass - 1,365 miles

I made it to Snoqualmie Pass. The terrain has been a bit tricky for a while and there has been smoke and low cloud for days now.

My stomach is fine now (well, mostly) but I still have a bit of a cold.

I've been hiking with Teatree and NAFTA for a while - good fun! When I got here I met Bull and Eric the Black again, and Gabby, and Glacier and some others. It's odd to spend most of the time alone and then to see so many hikers at the first food stop for miles! Well, perhaps it is not all that funny.

From here north things get a bit more challenging and there is rain coming in. I can either stay here for 3 days or head out into the rain. I think this time, the rain wins (it's a bit expensive here). Just 260 more miles to go I think.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

At White Pass (Packwood)

Hiked another 150 miles or so to get started on Washington. I'm now at White Pass and am staying in Packwood for a few days to recover from a little stomach upset.

I have hiked on my own quite a bit on this section though I started with Amtrak for a day and hiked with Ricola and OJ for a day and a half. I met many mushrooms of all kinds of shapes and sizes.

I felt pretty unwell 32 miles from the road and with a mountain to climb (well 2). I had serious diarrhea and couldn't even keep fluids down. Quite a worry so far from the road. I pushed on hard whilst i felt strong but eventually got a bit delirious and slept for a while. Realizing my food wouldn't last very long I had no choice but to make some miles and I managed 20 even though I felt awful. Thankfully (!) I had a horrible, loose, steep ridge to climb and the adrenalin from being so scared seemed to keep me going for a few more miles. Pretty glad to get down from up there in the wind and clouds.

Happy to be relaxing at the Inn of Packwood for a few days. Feel much better now.