As we set off again I knew I had to make it to the top. Vince told me stories to kept my head occupied as possible, and also let me take as many breaks as possible. He also told me how he basically ran a up the trail the last time he did it which included a few of snow where the trees hadn't blocked the snow from reaching the ground. I don't if it was to make me feel better or worse but it worked, we were at mile marker 3. We walked some more and then you could see a bit of blue sky and then a bit more. Vince told me the top was not to far only 4 switch backs, if he remembered correctly. I pushed on through and finally 3 hours later, if I am recalling it correctly, we made it to the top.
We scrambled up some rocks for a beautiful view of Mount Rainer to the south west, Seattle to the east and tiger mountain around there too. We sat down to enjoy our sandwiches and beers, as it part of Vince's tradition to drink one at the top, because as he told me it is a celebration and also a great way to give your body what it needed, alcohol to numb a little of the pain if you had it, which of course I did, and some nutrients to recharge your batteries. When we had picked up beers earlier that morning we had decided on one of my favorite beers, Maui Brewing Company CoCoNut PorTeR, but after being in my bag all day they were not as good as I remembered.
Then we made our way down, where we passed tons of people coming up, some were seasoned hikers like Vince, but quite a few were like me. I could feel their pain, but of course they could not see it since on the way down I was all smiles as it is so much easier. I tried to give them words of encouragement, some seemed happy, but most gave you that sarcastic smile, that I think probably meant screw you as it had I when I was in their position.
We kept going down singing silly songs, talking in funny accents, and Vince repeatedly asking me if I needed a break as he was so use to it from the way up, so I had to keep reminding him down was way way easier for me. We did take one more break at the half way mark to eat some more snacks and drink our final beer but that was it. And before you knew it were at the bottom.
It was a great hike, but I was glad to be done, and I´m sure Vince was even more glad that is regular hiking buddying, Thea, is a lot better then I am.