Daily Journal Week 23

Day 155 (29/08/2018): Holden to Kevin’s Cabin at the end of the road

Woke up pretty early and proceeded to spend the majority of the morning drinking coffee, eating, and playing a very close game of Scrabble in which Peck won. I was pretty sad about leaving the trail, but my weary body needs the rest. We hopped on the bus down to Lucerne at 10:45 am and I spoke to an interesting Forest Service trail worker who had just completed work on the Devore Trail near Holden. Once on the ferry to Stehekin I got a beer and relaxed hard. Possibly the best tasting beer I’ve ever had, especially after the ordeal of the rain storm and previous week in general. At the Stehekin Bakery I got the “must have” giant Cinnamon Roll, as well as a Croissant. They were very good as you’d expect. Outside while we were eating I struck up a conversation with a fisherman named Kevin, and his two children named Conner and Riley that both appeared to be very cold. Apparently they had camped overnight and were just fly fishing in a river near the bakery that morning on the way back to catch the ferry. As we were talking and I was telling about how I was now finished with the trail and heading back to the Seattle area, he offered Peck and myself a ride and place to stay that night! Seriously, so lucky! We talked the whole ferry ride back and ended up having an incredibly fun time making curry and drinking beers at Kevin’s Cabin. What a great night.

Day 156 (30/08/2018): Kevin’s Cabin to Kevin and Molly’s House on Mercer Island

Got an early start driving back towards Seattle where Kevin kindly offered us to stay with them for yet another night at their home on Mercer Island. The people I’ve met on this trail have been so forthcoming and gracious that I cannot express in words how lucky and grateful I am for their generosity. Without the kindness of strangers the PCT would be an entirely different animal. This evening Peck and myself went over plans on renting a car and heading down to Ashland, Oregon to hike the 16 mile section that we missed due to the Klamathon fire closure. Molly and Kevin cooked up some really tasty barbecue for the whole crew. After dinner we played a few games of pool downstairs and crashed out. Great night, thanks so much Kevin and Molly!

Day 157 (31/08/2018): Kevin and Molly’s House back to Chelan

Sooo…. the trail is opened up again to the border via an alternate!!! Right before I was about to book a rental car this morning Peck mentioned that I should check the fire closure page one last time, and lo and behold there is now a through pathway to get around fires and walk to the northern terminus. I am beyond ecstatic! After a few hours of preparing what we were going to be doing, and how to get back to the trail, Molly offered us a lift back towards Chelan as they were heading off to a Dave Matthews Band concert. We got going pretty late, but when we’re getting a free ride back towards the trail I’m not complaining one bit. Got to ride in maximum comfort also in their decked out van. We said our goodbyes at the junction to highway 970 where Peck and I began hitching to try and get back to Chelan. After about 30 minutes a black van pulled off and a guy named Lee offered us a ride to Cashmere which was perfect as there was a bus we could also take to Chelan. Lee was a character and interviewed us for his YouTube channel. He’s a hostel owner in Seattle and offered us a place to stay when we finish the trail next week! I swear I get so lucky meeting people out here. After the bus ride into Chelan I did a quick resupply then we grabbed a beer at a local brewpub, then headed towards the skate park near the lake. Found a Coors Light on the sidewalk unopened too, winner! After the park closed at 11 pm we stealthily (but respectfully) headed down to the lake to cowboy camp next to the water. Tomorrow we ferry back to Lucerne, bus to Holden, then we’re back to it!

Day 158 (01/09/2018): Chelan to Holden

Woke up just before sunrise and proceeded to quickly pack up and leave the park next to Lake Chelan. Didn’t get busted for stealth cowboy camping and woke up to a million dollar view of the lake. That’s a win in my book. Slowly made our way back to the ferry terminal after a quick stop at Safeway for food/snacks for the ride. The ferry ride up the lake was so freaking pretty. Minimal smoke in the air so all of the steep mountains were visible and enormous as they rose abruptly from the waters. We hopped back on the bus ride up the endless switchbacks on the dirt road to Holden. Once back into the Lutheran stronghold, Peck and I proceeded to play pool, bowling, and charge up all the rest of our stuff. Such a cool little place in the mountains. Two parties of mountaineers were on the bus ride up to go for an attempt up Bonanza Peak just WNW of Holden. Would love to get another summit like that soon. Pizza for dinner was super tasty and filling. Back to the trail tomorrow! I can’t believe how quickly my plans changed from ending the hike at Rainy Pass to being able to actually accomplish this goal I’ve been pushing five months towards.

Day 159 (02/09/2018): Holden to High Bridge Campground at Mile 2571.9 (~23.6 Miles OT)

It was cold this morning, but coffee at the community kitchen made it all better. Going up Ten Mile Creek was super steep, but beautiful. Small glaciers dotting the northern slopes of the mountains surrounding Holden were an added bonus. Didn’t see a single other hiker all day today other than Peck. First day that’s happened since I started the trail. This alternate was by no means easy, and my foot and knee are still hurting even after four days of rest. I would even call this trail not “well traveled”, which means bush bashing for a lot of lower elevation sections and constantly searching for where to go next. Once down and out of the valley, the trail ended at the Stehekin Airport which meant a 6 mile road walk at the end of the day that really did my feet in. At least we were jamming out to some music the whole time. As of this evening I’m currently back on the PCT though! And tomorrow I’ll be logging more PCT miles, hooray! Hopefully I can get into Mazama early enough to catch the Florida State vs Virginia Tech first college football game of the season, that’d be a huge plus.

Day 160 (03/09/2018): High Bridge Campground to Hwy 20 and Rainy Pass at Mile 2591.1 (19.2 Miles)

Lovely walk in the woods this morning. Old growth forest, huge cedars and spruce everywhere. Tons of cold water sources. Once I made it to Highway 20 (Rainy Pass) someone had made a miniature Northern Terminus marker which was really funny and awesome. Also some trail magic PBR’s which I had in front of the mini marker. It cemented the fact that I’m basically finished with the trail, only one more resupply and I’m done. After attempting to get a hitch into Mazama for about twenty minutes a nice guy in a Toyota 4 Runner pulled up from the trailhead and offered a ride to Winthrop which was even better (more options). A mile after pulling away from the trailhead I saw Peck wandering around looking lost (he’d taken a wrong turn to the highway) and we picked him up as well. The hitchgiver Alexx proceeded to ask if we’d like to join him for a beer at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery which ended up being super good. And Alex payed for our beer and burger! Legend! After the beer I headed across the street and was able to catch almost all of the FSU vs VT game which unfortunately didn’t go FSU’s way. I met a cool guy named Neil who offered a place to crash after we get back from the northern terminus. People are so genuinely helpful and kind along this trail it just blows my mind sometimes. After the game I headed over to the hostel which I found out didn’t have any staff working in it. I was told they had all quit the day before and all reservations were canceled. A couple other hikers ended up just crashing anyway and leaving early (we left cash on the table). Great day overall. Tomorrow we’ll get a resupply going for the next few days to the border then I’ll officially be finished! But only really finished after hiking the Ashland (Klamathon Fire) section I missed. So surreal that I’m back out here actually hiking on the PCT and only days away from the Canadian border!

Day 161 (04/09/2018): Rainy Pass to Stream and Tentsite at Mile 2600.8 (9.7 Miles)

Today was one of the best days I’ve had on trail. Starting with a very chilled out resupply mission, followed by two hitches from Winthrop back to Rainy Pass. The second guy “Avery” is a mountain guide on Mt. Rainier during the summer, and guides on the highest mountain in South America “Aconcagua” during the winter. That sounds like so much fun. Once back on the trail everything was so beautiful. Blue skies to the north, little bit of smoke hanging around the valleys though. Either way the views were unparalleled. The mountains up here in the North Cascades are so jagged and ruggedly molded that it’s almost impossible to fully take in all the beauty as you’re surrounded by it. The ridge lines I walked today I’ll never forget though, views for miles and miles. Hardly anyone on the trail too compared to a place like say Goat Rocks Wilderness. I’m truly humbled and appreciative that I get to experience this place with good weather, because I know how quick it can change. Tomorrow I’ll hike over Harts Pass and into the alternate trail. Two days to Canada!!!

DAN01818The secret waterfall near Kevin’s Cabin
DAN01819Peck, just chillin’DAN01821Kevin and RileyDAN01822Conner testing the waters (they were great!)DAN01830Peck loving Kevin’s pet rabbitDAN01836The view from the Lady of the Lake ferry up Lake ChelanDAN01844The view up Ten Mile CreekDAN01846“Hey Peck wave!”DAN01848Small, but beautiful glaciers on the northern slope of the passDAN01849Staring back down towards Lake Chelan and StehekinDAN01852Stehekin River just past the airport and before the road walkDAN01854Let’s walk 6 miles on concrete and gravel, why not!DAN01856The miniature monument at Rainy PassDAN01857Thanks so much for the uplifting message Stephanie!DAN01861These views were the norm all day hiking towards Harts PassDAN01863“Unbelievable” was all I could sayDAN01866This trail was so well maintained and perfectDAN01867Peaks jutting skyward everywhere you lookDAN01870Big beautiful country in the North CascadesDAN01871We had an epic tentsite this night before Harts PassDAN01873Tower Mountain looming overhead

Here’s a link to next week’s journal!

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