Day One

I’m writing this in my hammock nest at Lake Susan Jane. It’s about an hour after sunset.

Leaving Leavenworth, I picked up three thru hikers. One – Babar – opted to ride in the bed of the truck rather than squeeze into the jump seat behind me. Dr Quinn took the passenger side jump seat, and Bipolar – the tallest of the group by far – got the passenger seat. I enjoyed talking with them on the drive to Stevens Pass, and they gave me recent trail info. (I was surprised to hear they’d seen zero bears in Section J. And they weren’t kidding about the huckleberries.)

The climb from the trailhead was as I expected: steep! Lots of nobos passed me; I only saw one person heading south. I expect that to be the case all week.

I managed to get my overflow food bag hung, but none of the branches were ideal. It’s within a foot of the tree, so if a bear fancies it, I’ll lose my summer sausage and my desserts. I should only have to do this for another night or two, so I’m hopeful the bears are busying themselves with the huckleberries.

It was a cool hike up. The forecast is for a low of 36F. I should be fine in my nest, and the cold will keep the bugs at bay.

I’m hopeful to be awake around dawn and on the trail within a hour. I tend to dawdle too much in the mornings, and I’d like to get in the habit of being more efficient with breakfast and breaking camp.

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