In my last semester of grad school, I had the opportunity to travel across the country to collect data at various environmental education programs. The principal investigator on the project hired a research technician, Talia, to support the project and travel with me. Talia and I quickly solidified a friendship as she too enjoys spending time adventuring outdoors.
This summer, Talia was working in the North Cascades region not far from the PCT. We had loose plans to see each other once Journey Man and I got to her area. Talia informed me that she was evacuated from her work site due to the Sourdough fire—the same fire that was affecting the PCT. She asked if there’d be a good place to meet on trail. “Where do you think you’ll be on Tuesday?” she texted.
I looked at my map and did some quick calculations before responding. “We should be in Rainier National Park,” I told her, providing a mile marker where I thought we might camp that evening. She replied that she was planning on hiking near Rainier that day. “Can my friend and I camp with you Tuesday night?”
I was a little apprehensive as we hiked that day. I wanted to make sure we got to camp to spend time with Talia and her friend, Mohamed. It can be tough making plans to meet with folks while on trail. Hikers often say, “you can choose the day or the place, but seldom can you choose both.” With good planning (and no hiccups) it can certainly work. And, sure enough, Talia and Mohamed were waiting for us at the lake campsite when we arrived at dusk!
Talia and Mohamed offered to collect our water from a spring while Journey Man and I set up camp. When they returned, they revealed goodies that they carried for us. Fresh cherries, huckleberry ciders, and cookies! What treats! We dined together and swapped stories, staying up well past hiker midnight. In the morning, Talia and Mohamed hiked with us for an hour before turning back to go to their car. It was so fun to camp and catch up with my good friend and to make another friend in that time. In fact, when Journey Man and I went into Seattle a couple days later, Mohamed offered us his apartment to stay in while he and Talia were out for another short camping trip! I look forward to the next time we can camp with Talia and Mohamed!
My muscles are sore even at the beginning of the day. My feet need to be massaged at lunch. Some days I have an insatiable hunger from the amount of calories I burn. I look forward to reaching the top of a climb. I’m always more than ready to sit down for a long lunch break when I can soak my feet in a cold stream. The moment I can...
We immediately started seeing familiar faces once we arrived. It was a big, beautiful reunion of wonderful people. By day, we wandered around with various friends and visited all the vendors. I even got to see...
Our hiker friend Twist grew up in Portland, OR. He had a whole itinerary of people he wanted to see on particular weekends. Lucky for Journey Man and myself, Twist invited us to join him for a couple weekends. We first met Twist’s parents, Steve and Laurie, in Sun River. They