155. September 12: Mile 2551.39 Campsite to Mile 2569.42 Stehekin, WA
The final town! The hike into town was pretty short. It wad only a short bit of uphill (less than a mile) before a 18ish mile hike down several thousand feet towards Stehekin. At lunch I figured we could probably make the 3:00 shuttle into town instead of waiting for the 6:15 one (it’s a dirt road with basically no cars on it) so once that became fixated in my head, it became my mission to get there at 3:00. In hindsight I really shouldn’t have done this. We made it; just barely, but for Glowworm I know it was more of a struggle. She was not hiking slow by any means, I was just hiking exceptionally fast. We should have just taken it easy and had a slow chill day to make it for the 6:15 bus, but I for whatever reason decided it was better to push. I should learn from this lesson.
The bus that picks the hikers up stops at this trail famous bakery outside of town before arriving in Stehekin. But instead of the normal 20 minute stay at the bakery, it was only five minutes due to some hikers really wanting to retrieve their resupply boxes before the post office closed. So we were rushed and I panicked so I wound up buying two slices of cold pizza, two large chocolate chip cookies, a cold cut sandwich, and a pint of milk. In think the total came out to be $25 or something. I didn’t even get proper baked goods! Ugh, hopefully tomorrow we’ll get a chance to look and decode before heading back to the trail.
In town, which is more of a resort than a town, we immediately headed to the general store to buy fuel out of fear that they would run out. Fortunately they had some and we will be able to happily eat out dinners hot for the remainder of the hike. After purchasing our canisters we joined Dr. McDirty, Cougar, and Adam who had already arrived earlier in the day on the porch for beers and to eat our baked goods. It seems like everyone we have met and become friends with along the trail have descended upon Stehekin at the same time. We saw Acorn, a German girl we last saw in the desert on the hike into town, Stephanie from Italy was in town when we got there too, so was Coco from Brazil, Monarch, John, and others! It’s so crazy. Some of these people we haven’t seen in months and we’re now all together.
We spent the evening chatting with our friends and then trying to determine our plan for the coming days. The 17th still looks like our best bet for finishing, it’ll just be a matter of when on the 17th. I’m still very much looking forward to being done despite the beauty of the the last several days.
Hopefully I’ll be able to finally post these blogs for all of Washington which you have sadly not been able to read as I’ve hiked through this section. The wifi in each of these towns has been poor to nonexistent and cell service hasn’t been a whole lot better. I last had contact with the outside world six days ago and it will be another five days until we get to the border and onto Manning Park where I can get internet again. Sorry to everyone who is undoubtedly concerned as to my silence. It was not planned by any means. I’m hoping to maybe call my parents on the one pay phone in town (apparently pay phones are still a thing) and let them know I’m alive and well tomorrow. We shall see.