I spent most of last week on the couch, reading PCT blogs and setting world records in serial sneezing, but by Saturday I felt good enough to try an easy hike. We settled on Annette Lake, which we had visited in 2009 and I remembered as a pleasant early-season lake, even though poor Bobby had slipped off a log by the outlet and fallen into a stew of trapped pollen and gunk, then emerged looking like a tiny Yoda.
This time, both nutrias managed to stay on their log, but the lake wasn’t quite as charming as I remembered. It’s nice enough, but there are just so many nicer lakes to visit in this state.
Still, it was a good outing, and I’m glad I didn’t attempt anything more challenging since apparently I wasn’t quite back to normal yet. Sunday saw me curled up on the couch again while JK biked to Marymoor Park to climb and attend the Brewer’s Festival.
On Monday we had a final window of good weather before the Juneuary gloom set in, so I decided I had to hike no matter what. We settled on the infamous Cable Line, the route that goes straight up Tiger Mountain and gains 2000 feet in 1.5 miles or so. It kills me every time, whether I am sick or not, so I fully expected an evening of torture.
I put on headphones and told JK and his coworker Anil to just go ahead at their own pace. I listened to an old episode of Snap Judgment called Hungry, which was an excellent choice – tales of war, starvation, and survival tend to put your self-imposed cardio suffering in perspective.
When I finally reached the top, I realized that – without really trying – I had beat my old record by four minutes. Huzzah! And I felt really, really good. Invigorated, actually. Usually the Cable Line makes me want to curl up into a ball and never walk again, but now I felt like I could keep going forever.
The conversation was dominated by work talk on the way down West Tiger 3, so I put my headphones back in and ran ahead of the guys, listening to the new Daft Punk album and enjoying the ease of breathing that comes with newly cleared sinuses. I saw the sunset filtered through the trees and hit some sort of manic endorphin rush just as Touch came on, so I played it three times in a row, getting lost in its silly disco fabulousness and feeling totally, truly happy.
Life! It’s beautiful!