Day 125: Friday, September 6

Still at my aunts' house in Yakima, a zero day

Woke up around 8 and right away checked the weather and White Pass conditions on my phone to see that it was raining more than ever up there and there were flood watches all over the entire damn state. My resolve to hike was crippled and I decided I'd take a zero day down here in the warm dry house with family, rather than hike in the cold soaking woods alone. Hitch still had to get out to the trail--no other choice because of her own particular schedule--so I said I'd drive her up in the middle of the morning and possibly come back down with another hiker if I saw one in need. That's basically what ended up happening--we were up at the Pass around 11:30, the heavens drenching everything with huge cold raindrops, and Hitch was getting ready to set out when Hooligan popped out of the woods, looking like poor Michael Furey from Joyce's Dubliners--Irish, and half-dead from cold and wet outside my window. He had hiked seven miles southbound in the morning back to White Pass after having all his gear and self utterly drenched the night before. He said he planned to take a day off in a motel room at the pass, but I said he could stay with me and my family in a real home in Yakima for the day if he wanted, and he accepted the offer.

Our drive back down was extended by me picking the wrong direction (west) downhill from the pass and not realizing it for nearly 20 miles. Once we were finally back in Yakima, he got fed, showered and dried out and I spent most of the afternoon loafing about, dividing my time chiefly between TV and the internet. The weather cleared up and Anita grilled up burgers for dinner, a few of the veggie variety (both Hitch and Hooligan coincidentally happened to be vegetarians), and there was more exquisite garden salad to go with it, this time with blood-orange-infused olive oil for dressing. Watched a little soccer after eating, which is a very rare and very appreciated treat for me during hikes, then called it an early night around 9 because neither Hooligan nor I are especially well-rested at the moment. The weather should mostly clear up tomorrow and for the next many days, so it'll be time to get crackin' again with the hiking thing.