Simon Carter

Walking towards Steven’s Pass, WA, the rain was still falling throughout the day as sunshine snuck through the clouds from time to time. Team Gnar Gnar had resigned to accept the trail closure, due to wild fires, and the requisite detour and break in a continuous footpath.

Rumors trickled through the telephone game like news system of the trail, that people were walking through the closure and it might actually open. During one of the brief sunny moments, I passed a ranger who verified that the trail would open soon. We (Team Gnar Gnar) all knew that we couldn’t rightfully skip a section if it was open. We also knew that this would throw a wrench in the plan developed a week prior when the thought of an opened trail was out of the question. Some had hard deadlines to make. I descended into Steven’s Pass on an ankle that felt like walking with a brick for a foot. Rest in Skykomish sounded nice, pushing big miles to finish did not sound so nice.

Recently, each stop in a town felt more and more comfortable. I instantly fell in love with the towns, the food, the chairs, the warm showers, the beds, the clean clothes or maybe just the feeling of not walking and getting some rest. I think to myself, “If I was forced to stop hiking here, for some factor out of my control, I don’t think I’d be all that sad.” I’ve had the conversation several times about just wanting to stop walking for a little while. I don’t want to leave the trail, still love sleeping out and the community but just want to stop walking for a little while. These should be blatant signs that I am exhausted.