August 10 campsite to Darrington 17 trail miles 6:45-12:15 (then a lot of hitchhiking)
Up early. Last night a wonderful older couple from Arizona whom we had bumped into earlier came in to our small site. They had hiked the AT to celebrate his retirement, and now were finishing the PCT. Almost ultralghters– cuben fiber bags and tents (including a zpack model very like my new one). They hike long days–25 miles–for four, then zero. They were up at 5:30 and off at 6:15, so we followed with an early start. We could smell the barn, so even though we had 17 miles, we averaged over 3 mph. Perfect trail, all downhill. First hitchhike was with a fish and game ranger, who took us halfway out, then a camp manager who got us to the main road (23 miles total). Half hour sitting in the back of a bouncing pickup with dust roiling all around– pure heaven after that hard hike down. We could not get last ride until the Fish and game guy came by on his way home and took us to the only motel in town. On my way to IGA for ice cream, chips and beer I met a hiker waiting for the bus. David yogied a shower, then hung out a bit. interesting guy, photographer heading to the Manhattan Photo school. Then, in full zero day mode, we watched an Austin Powers movie.