Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We Love Washington!

First, we've had great fun hiking with a wonderful group of people. This picture shows most of them.

Second, the weather has been perfect! Our first day into Washington it started raining in the afternoon while we ate lunch with Hoffa and MoonPie. But Hoffa reassured us with his prediction that we would only get 5 days of rain total - 3 partials and 2 wholes. One partial is already out of the way, so only 4 more days to go (although we will take none as well). After that first day, the sky cleared up and it has been just beautiful hiking weather.

The group: it randomly started out of Cascade Locks with Hoffa, MoonPie and Clearwater. We gradually gained Jesse, Don't Panic, Dangerprone, and Hawkeye as well. With all of us, there are 9 - Steve refers to us as the Fellowship, but we are still far from getting matching tattoos :)

Going around the table, here's a brief description:

LandShark - You know and love him well.

Dangerprone - She's married to Hawkeye and has lots of stories.

Don't Panic - One of his favorite books is "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," so he named himself after the first rule. We hadn't hiked with him much up to this point, but he's great.

Hawkeye - He's married to Dangerprone and can spot things without even trying. He laughs a lot.

Jesse - At 24, he's the baby of the group, but don't try to pat him on the head or touch his chin unless you are ready to throw down. He is a GREAT storyteller and we all laugh endlessly at his campfire tales. He also went to the same high school as Snoop Dogg.

Hoffa - He also makes us laugh a lot. He is consistently the fastest hiker of the group and will beat us all to camp sometimes by an hour.

Who we're missing:

Clearwater - He decided not to eat, so he wasn't included, but he was wandering around somewhere. He is one of the two to have thru-hiked before (the AT in 2005).

MoonPie - She is the other previous thru-hiker (AT 2006). She decided she wanted to go at a slower pace this last stretch, so we hadn't seen her since White Pass. We missed her.

Because the weather has been so great, there isn't much to complain about. At times the trail has been pretty butt-kicking hard, and at others not so much. Mostly, we've been enjoying the camaraderie of our new-found friends and good times at lunch stops and camp. Last night we got in by 6:30 and were able to enjoy a fire before bedtime.

We are currently at Snoqualmie Pass, which is our third to last town stop, and we can hardly believe how quickly Canada is approaching.

Lastly, we want to thank everyone who has donated to our Hike for Angie - we have already raised almost 30% of our goal. If you haven't donated and would like to, there is still time. We have added a link on the side of our blog - just click on that and it will take you directly to our personal page. Thank you again for your support and generosity.

Finally, the next few weeks are going to be out of range of cell service, so don't expect to hear from us much :)