Glacier Peak Wilderness - Day 13
In the morning, we had to wait some time for an available taxi. This was because the driver was busy driving other people to the same trail. At 9 in the morning, we would already be her 3rd trip there that day and she told us she typically did this throughout the summer. That seemed a lot more convenient than just organizing public transport...
The lady told us that there would be cell phone reception at the trailhead, we just had to call her when we were ready to return. As soon as she drove off we noticed neither of us had cell phone coverage. We would solve that problem later, first we needed to hike. It was nearly freezing so we were glad to get moving. The hike would be 4.5 miles straight uphill. Even though we had left our heavy packs at the hotel, Diane was having a hard time because she was tired from the past week. It took a lot of effort but eventually we reached a nice lake. It was possible to go up even higher and make it into a 18 mile hike. However, in that case we would had have to camp somewhere and like most places in the US needed a permit to do so.
After taking some photos, we started the descent. This again took several hours and we were glad when it was over. Now we just needed to get back to the Hotel. We decided to start walking down the dirt road hoping we would get phone reception soon. After all, the taxi lady had said it wouldn't be a problem. After about 10 minutes, we still didn't have any coverage. I felt bad bringing up hitchhiking again, but it seemed our only option. When a car passed, Diane asked for a ride. Fortunately, it was the same nice family from Oklahoma that we had seen multiple times throughout the hike. The family felt bad for us when Diane explained that we had no reception, so they agreed to give us a ride and we got in. In general that went pretty well, except that Diane had been so flustered in asking for a ride that she hadn't mentioned where we wanted to go nor asked where the family was going. Fortunately, they were heading at least roughly in the right direction. We again talked a bit and they seemed to like us, as they offered to make a small detour to drop us of at our hotel. That worked out really well. Thus far, hitchhiking had made us meet nice people while saving $450.
That evening we visited a different restaurant; it was an odd combination of US sports bar and German beer garden. The next morning we would travel back to Seattle. There was only one train and it would leave at 6:45 in the morning from a train station several kilometers away from the village. We noticed that that morning the same train had been delayed by more than 2 hours and hoped that wouldn't be that case for ours. We set our alarm for 5:00 and went to sleep.