Back in Washington
Washington state is where I fell in love with hiking. Among her mountains, streams, shores, rivers, hills, deserts, and valleys, I discovered something that makes me happier than almost anything else. After moving to Los Angeles, I promised myself on every return visit I would make it a point to get back on the playground that started it all. For this trip, the trail was Boulder River Trail outside of Oso in the North Cascades. As soon as I found myself underneath a canopy of trees putting one foot in front of the other, I knew was home.
The drive to Boulder River Trail is a little challenging for a four-door sedan, but once you are on the trail all of that seems to wash away. Most of the trail follows the length of the river. The highlight is a beautiful cascading waterfall a short distance from the trailhead. From that point, the trail turns inward through the forest. None of the climbs are extremely difficult, but thanks to some mud and downed trees there is enough here to challenge the most seasoned hiker. The trail ends at one of the larger expanses of the river. Without a doubt, it was a beautiful spot to take a break before hiking back to the car. For me, it reminded me of everything I missed about hiking in Washington.
On this hike, Brandon’s little brother joined us. Before making the trip, Brandon invited him to come along. From what I was told, he was over the moon with excitement. As we began hiking and the miles started to accumulate, his enthusiasm evaporated. Now, I should mention that Brandon’s little brother is struggling with his weight. For this reason, I chose an easy trail with hopes that he would fall in love with hiking. Somewhere before the end, he decided he was done and began the journey back to the car. So much for finding another convert!
3 Miles an Hour
I have become obsessed with hiking three miles an hour. As I race down declines and fight up inclines, I am constantly checking my watch to see how fast I am moving. This is the pace I think I will need to maintain if I am going to conquer the Pacific Crest Trail next year. In my mind, if I can hike at this speed and do somewhere in the ballpark of 40,000 steps per day, then I should have no problem reaching the Canadian border by the end of September.
The Pacific Crest Trail
Of the 2.650 miles that comprise the Pacific Crest Trail, I have only hiked a small part of one section, and it was in Washington state. That was my first and only taste of something that has become an obsession, but it was enough to move me to action. Now, living in southern California, the opportunities to step on the trial are boundless, but I refuse. I will not hike any piece of the PCT before next year. Kind of like a hockey player who refuses to touch the Stanley Cup before winning it, I am refusing to spoil this opportunity before it is time.
Be good to each other,
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