pct day 64: Mather Pass

July 28

813 – 827

I guess a pass every day now? Hope this one has coffee too.

I was so cold last night. I’m going to wear more pants to bed. I bet the cold air went sliding downhill to that stream below me.

I played a game of counting beards today. But what counts as a real beard and what’s mere stubble? So many male hikers are too young and fresh faced to have started beard development yet. This game needs parameters.

I saw someone I met awhile back. She had her bare feet soaking in a stream and it looked so nice. I’m going to have to do some of that myself.

At the top of the pass, I heard a rockslide! That’s not a good sound on a cliffy rocky mountain pass. I couldn’t see where it was happening. 

The walk down from the pass is always prettier than the walk up. Except for that one perfect meadow on the way up to Forester. 

Coming down the Golden Staircase, I listened to a Real Talk Radio podcast interview with an ultramarathoner that had me hopping down the steps. I may not ever compete in Leadville but it’s cool to hear about people that do! After the drop, I came to some pretty lakes where you can jump into super freezing cold water if that’s your thing. It might have been my thing if there hadn’t been crowds of young people. Swimming in sporty underwear that somehow looked like sexy bikinis and not support panties.

I found the Oregon coffee boys getting trail side massage and ankle therapy from an osteopath doctor. And then all the nurses and paramedics stopped by to make sure everyone knew about their medical training. Everyone out here has medical training and most of them have some kind of beacon device. It’s totally safe out here. Maybe too safe. Want to hear something annoying? I met a neurobiologist who also works at REI. For the discount. He couldn’t leave that REI job with its good bennies for us normal poor people.

And here is something awful that happened. I peed my pants. Not just my pants. I pissed all over myself. Bright side: I guess I’m staying hydrated!

It’s that damn hip belt. When I unclip it, all my internal organs flop out and I guess my bladder thinks it’s time to go! I’m so grateful that no one came walking along to witness me yelling and jumping around with urine squirting down my leg. I needed to get into the river and wash off. Which meant a private-ish campsite. And man…. that’s pretty impossible these days. I walked about a mile in my pee pants, feeling sorry for myself. Having renewed sympathy for toddlers in wet diapers and the horrors of diaper rash. It felt fantastic to take off my pants and lower my bum into cold river water. I’m sorry if that’s not LNT ethics but it had to be done.

3 thoughts on “pct day 64: Mather Pass

  1. Dear Ms. Gretchen Howell,

    Your brutal honesty and cynicism and self deprecating humor have made reading your blog a treasure. Thank you for your efforts–and please keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! So great to hear of your journey and good to know that you’ve made it to Oregon! Whoa. The weather is in triple digits here in Whitewater, windy, and smokey from nearby wildfires. The lush landscape with cool streams looks beautiful. Enjoy!!!


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