From Concrete to Port Townsend, the route is going to be unlike any other section of the PNT. Though not always trail, and not always in wilderness, the route has generally followed more rural lines of travel, visiting only small towns along the way. From Concrete, though, I plunged into the densities of Western Washington population, following the rail-trail parallel to Highway 20 and passing a couple towns yesterday on my way to Sedro-Woolley. Sedro-Woolley has 10,000 people living in it, a fact quite amazing when examined against the size of many of the other PNT towns. I’ve taken a rest day here with Dan, who had only a 1.5 hour drive from Seattle to arrive, making this town likely the closest stop (by car) to Seattle on the entire trip.
From here I continue on the rail trail, only minus the trail since for the next 11 miles or so it is apparently still railroad track, hikable except for Thursdays. I’ll cross I-5 tomorrow, which feels something of a milestone, and work my way over to Anacortes on bike paths and country roads. It’s unfortunate the rail trail stopped because it was quite pleasant to walk, sided by mossy-trunked maples or farm lands or, briefly
, the wide and roiling Skagit River whose water is the color of milky coffee from all the rain. No matter though. I expect to continue enjoying this radically different part of the trail in this narrow and bustling strip of earth where, to my great delight, I can listen to NPR as I walk.