Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Day 144- Missed A Legend And Met A Legend

Sept 23, 2016
Stevens Pass(2461.6) to Valhalla Lake(2467.4) 5.8 miles
Total up/down: +1,407/-555 feet 

I had so many plans for today, but most of them did not work out. I couldn't fall asleep last night to save my life. I was just getting ready to fall asleep when I decided to check on my Amazon order. When I signed into my account I was notified that my package was delayed. I had expected it yesterday, but I figured(and made plans) it would be delivered today. The expected delivery date was not listed as Sept 23, but the 27th. I was furious and because I was furious I slept badly. I was relying on this package to fix a major problem with my gear. I tried really hard to not worry about it, but it took me forever to fall asleep. At least I could sleep in today. I had to do laundry and pick up my resupply package before I could leave town. The post office doesn't open until 11:30. This allowed me to have a lazy morning. 

I woke up at seven thirty and gathered my pitiful amount of clothing. I didn't realize that it was raining until I stepped outside. I hurried through the rain to the laundromat. This was by far the most expensive laundromat of the entire trail. It cost me $7 to wash and dry my clothes. My mom puts a Tide pod into my resupply boxes so I didn't have to pay $3 for soap. I updated my blog and called home while I waited on my laundry. 

I didn't plan on eating breakfast at a restaurant, but I just couldn't resist eating "real" food. I had three pancakes with bacon and coffee. I couldn't finish the plate, the pancakes were so big. After breakfast I went back to my room to pack. I downloaded a new audiobook and some new music. Thanks, Teri Ricks, for the iTunes gift card. I can't wait to listen to some new music. 

During breakfast another hiker told me that, Legend is in town. I haven't seen him since Tehachapi and I was really hoping to se him before heading back to the trail. For those of you who don't remember, Legend is an awesome trail angel that I have had the privilege of seeing twice along the trail. Supposedly he is shuttling hikers back to the Stevens Pass trailhead at two o'clock. I would like to be back on the trail way before then, but maybe we will still see one another. 

I showed up to the post office an hour before it opened. I was hoping someone would be there early, but they weren't. I wrote another blog post as I waited. The post master arrived just as I was finishing up. With my resupply package in hand I headed back to the motel. I had it sorted and I repacked my bag in short order. I was ready to leave town at twelve thirty, but it was raining really hard. I went to the local deli to wait it out. The weather looked like it would clear up by two o'clock. Perfect! I decided to wait for Legend, instead of hitching back to the trailhead. Unfortunately, by three o'clock he was nowhere to be seen. I couldn't afford to wait any longer. It was still raining pretty good, but I had miles to make. I got a ride within ten minutes of sticking out my thumb. By the time I started hiking it was four o'clock. The rain had let up a little bit, but it was still cold out. 

Since it was raining I was listening to my audiobook via the speakers on my phone. The headphones break the watertight protection I have on my cell phone. It was raining just hard enough that I didn't want to risk ruining my phone. I was going up a pretty steep and muddy uphill section. When I looked up I saw a hiker coming straight towards me. At the last moment she stepped aside to let me go by. I glanced at her on my way by and began to say thank you. Instead what came out of my mouth was, "Holy shit. You're Heather Anderson!" Heather "Anish" Anderson is a total legend in the small community of long distance hiking(and ultra running). She currently holds the record, or FKT(fastest known time) on the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Unlike Scott Jurek, she is self supported, which means that she hiked the trail all on her own. She carried all of her own hear and resupplied as she hiked. Basically like a normal thruhiker, just much faster. I was struck dumb. I actually had problems speaking. She was very kind and we spoke for about five minutes. I told her that we had actually met on the AT. We passed each other in the Whites. I will never forget meeting her the first time. I asked her where she had started her day, she told me Mt. Washington. I thought she had misunderstood my question because that was forty miles away from where we were standing. I walked away from that first meeting shaking my head. It wasn't until later when, China Rock, told me who she was that I understood how anyone could hike that far in the whites in one day. I would have liked to have gotten a picture, but it was raining so I couldn't get my phone out. It was very nice of her to stand in the rain for five minutes and chat with me. She gave me some great advice on a camp spot for the evening and also about what to expect the rest of the trail. I was grinning like an idiot for the rest of the day. 

With the late start and the rain I didn't make it very far today. I set up camp early to avoid gaining any more elevation. It was cold enough without climbing another thousand feet. For the first time of the trip I was forced to cook dinner from the confines of my tent. It was the only way to stay dry. It took twice as long because I was paranoid about catching the tent in fire or spilling boiling water everywhere. I managed to not do either of those things. The weather forcast is very promising for the next couple of days. It should warm up significantly and the rain should disappear. 

"For what it is worth: It's never to late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you are not, I hope you have the strength to start over." 
F Scott Fitzgerald 


  1. What a day, rain and no repellant, no Trail Angel, but a hiking legend.. It's good to see the rest of your blogs. Can't wait to finish reading them. LY

  2. I suspect Ms Anderson learned many of the same lessons you've learned only a bit earlier or perhaps faster....she sounds more like a thrusprinter. Still it's a contact and a memory worth having. Sorry about the soggy day but it didn't stop you. GO YODA!

    Double G

  3. So glad you almost literally ran into Heather - too bad you couldn't get a picture! Love getting to read about your final leg of the trail!

  4. Now THAT is a noteworthy trail encounter. So, you should definitely run into her again when you do the CDT, right? ;)

  5. What a great memory for you. Eventually, you will remember that part, not the nasty weather. We are finally enjoying reading the rest of your blogs. We've been in the mountains and off the grid for almost a week now. We get how disconnected you feel from what's going on in the world. It's good in some ways and bad in another, but so glad to see you are done and enjoying your time with your folks.