September 18, 2017
Henry's Parents' House to Cedar Falls Trailhead
Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike: Day 136
What. A. Day. What a fuckin day.
Started out with Terri Ann cooking perfect bacon, perfect over-easy eggs, and packing us sandwiches. On the way out of town a woman pulled over and insisted on giving us $40. She would not take no for an answer. So now we're walking around with $40 in tow, can't use it for anything.
We headed out on one of the foothills trails for a few miles. That turned into a nice town-to-town road. Al and I got rubber cleaning gloves at a convenience store to keep our hands warm once the rain came.
It started raining and went from sprinkles to sheets in a matter of minutes. Just enough time to put pack covers on.
Walking alongside the road, a jeep pulled over with a man named Jeff Hansen in it, inviting us to his place for hot coffee. We took him up on it and walked up the road to Green River Cycles. His girlfriend had made hot coffee and cookies! We sat in his tin-roofed garage, huddled together for warmth. While we listened to the rain hammering down, Jeff told us stories of famous people and parties he used to have and wild rides he'd been on from Bangkok to Dubai. Jeff has a pet bobcat and is a dirtbike champion. He spends half the year in El Salvador at his second house. He has a friend in Thailand who owns a Ducati shop. He's spent 150 days in Southeast Asia. He bought his house when it was a tavern and would throw huge motorcycle parties. One time he had over 1200 motorcycles at one of his parties. He said you don't make money in life by following the rules.
He also told us that the route we'd be taking later in the day was through the Seattle watershed. He kept calling it ‘The Shed’. I had no idea what the ‘Shed was, or what a watershed was, and so paid little attention to his stories about sneaking into it. Why would Google maps give me a walking route that was illegal?
After Jeff's place (we saw the bobcat, it is a beautiful animal), we walked on.
Yes, we went through the watershed. Yes, it was EXTREMELY restricted access. We fairly well sprinted for 7 miles, not stopping for anything, not saying a word, adrenaline propelling us forward. I kept checking Google maps to see how much further to the end. Four miles. Two miles. One mile. Half a mile. Quarter mile. One-tenth. And then we walked out of the wooded watershed and into the main. fucking. entrance. Floodlights all over the place and a wide expanse of pavement with zero cover. Well, shit. We certainly don't turn around at this point and walk back through the watershed.
Move forward at a less-than panicked rate. Act like you don’t know you’re not supposed to be here. We can't be more than a tenth of a mile from the exit.
My eyes shifted from side to side without swinging my head, checking for movement, for humans, for trucks. Lots of trucks, no humans. Lots of lights on, no sounds. We moved forward, quickly but not too quickly, me shushing Vice and Alex every step of the way, appalled that we could make it so far and now is the time they would loosen up? Not ten minutes from now?
We came to a blessed barrier on the road that said 'no trespassing'. The end. The place had been completely abandoned, not a person in sight. The rain let up from a downpour to a steady pitter patter.
I checked the map, found a trailhead within a mile and a half, and we made camp at Iron Horse State Park, 23 miles from Snoqualmie Pass.