Yesterday we walked out on the Hoh River trail, which goes 18 miles up the valley – we just slogged through the mud to the first bridge by a waterfall, at about 2.7 miles in. The kids rushed off at great pace while we slowly shambled after them.
Stopping at the waterfall for a breather before the return leg, I sat on a tree stump and then Destroyer came over, to tell me we were going.
I got up a few minutes later to find everyone already vanished, and rushed back down the trail after them.
I slogged through mud, bewildered that in just a few minutes they’d made so much progress. I even began to worry I’d taken the wrong route, but then I recognised some of the large logs we’d climbed over on the way out.
I sprinted a bit of it, that old feeling of exhilaration in my lungs and legs again, filled with worry for where the kids were.
Getting back to the visitor centre: no wife or kids. I went back to the campsite: no wife or kids. I went down to the river, back to the tent, back to the campsite back to the visitor centre, nothing. It was on my third panicked dash that I bumped into them, having somehow left before they did. Did Destroyer send me through a time portal? How did I miss them standing on the bridge?
Oh, and we saw a snake eating a banana slug.
Today, driving home for ten hours was nothing in comparison.