a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 2571.9 to 2576.8. Fire closure reroute part 2: Holden Village to Stehekin via ferry, then back on PCT to Bridge Creek campground.
We sleep in. No need to ask why, I’m sure. And incredibly, the weather is absolutely perfect. The sun’s out and the sky is a deep blue. And the mountains? Well, they are white. Oh, surprise!
The shuttle to the ferry doesn’t leave until 10.30am which means we have plenty of time. We stroll over to the dining hall where we see Sriracha and Puddles again. The poor guys slept outside last night. They were freezing and hardly slept. I am angry with this place being all religious and then not help people in need. There were enough hikers sleeping outside last night because they weren’t gonna pay 99 USD for a room. They were miserable. And this place has plenty of very basic rooms where they should have been welcome to sleep in! I am not saying for free. How about 20 USD a night? Even in our room there was another bed. But they would have charged another 99 USD for a person sleeping in it. Meaning that our room would have sold for 3x99 USD. While one person gets to sleep in a private room with 4 beds for 99 USD as well. How is this fair? We should have smuggled Puddles, Sriracha and Poodlebee into our room last night. Never mind those rules.
Our stuff is dry, we are clean and warm and ready for the last leg of our very long journey. Gone are the thoughts about quitting. We are not quitting now, so close to the end! Less than 100 miles to Canada. Craaaazy!
The shuttle arrives and we all jump in. Suddenly there’s again around 15 of us! I never know how that happens. Which holes do all these hikers suddenly crawl out of? Haha. There is also a hiker hiking with a dog and the dog of course gets all the attention from the hikers. Therefore the bus ride down to Lake Chelan and the landing at Lucerne passes by really quickly. Anticipation and excitement is in the air. Chances are very high we are going to make it to Canada now.
The ferry arrives after about 20 minutes and we quickly jump in to get good seats by the window. I am really hungry because breakfast in Holden was kind of meaky and get a cheese sandwich. We are sitting next to some older people just out on a ferry ride today. They look at us curiously and start asking questions. When they hear what we’ve been up to they are completely amazed. And so the 45min ferry ride goes by fast because we are chatting with them the whole way.
We reach Stehekin at 2pm. Originally we had planned to spend the night here and leave in the morning. But since we slept in Holden last night we decided to not pay for another hotel here in Stehekin. But when we hear that the last shuttle going to the trailhead for today leaves at 3pm we rethink that we won’t be able to get everything (resupply boxes, permit to stay overnight within the next 20 miles, lunch, some grocery shopping, getting the wifi code to call my host mum Kim about our arrival date) done in one hour. But as we can’t afford another night in a hotel it’s gonna have to work out. While Dario hurries over to the post office to get our resupply boxes I go inside the restaurant to order our food and into the grocery store to buy bread, some chocolate bars and the code to the wifi. Then I go back to the restaurant and reserve a booth. Dario comes back with the boxes, drops them off at our table and leaves to get our permits. I open the boxes and start organizing our resupply into breakfast, lunch and dinner piles as usual. Then I try to call Kim but realize that I first need to update my messenger app. And this takes ages. There is no way we’ll have enough time. When Dario comes back we quickly eat, pack up everything and hurry down to the shuttle. Finally the messenger app has loaded and I still have wifi. I call her from the bus and tell her our arrival date, the 7th of October. I tell her we’ll spend the night in Manning Park and we agree that she’ll pick us up on the 8th of October. I’ll see her again in 5 days. After 12 years. Wow.
The shuttle waits until I finish my phone call and then leaves towards the trailhead. The shuttle always makes a stopover at the Stehekin Bakery which is very famous among PCT hikers. They make delicious pastries, breads and cinnamon rolls. We buy food for 50 USD (pizza slices, cakes and cinnamons rolls) and get back on the bus. They sure make good business with us hikers. They probably time the shuttle so that hikers don’t have time to eat in Stehekin and then come to the bakery all hungry!! Well, it works (even with some lunch in our bellies). Unfortunately this is also where we realize that once again we forgot to buy fuel. We still have some left but it won't last the whole way. But Trooper and Poodlebee might be able to share it with us. We decide not to freak out about it.
When we reach the trailhead everyone quickly straps on their packs and starts hiking. All of us? No, a minority consisting of Dario and I, Trooper and Sriracha stays behind and lets everyone pass. We’ll take it easy today. Reaching Canada in 4.5 days is plenty of time to do the 89 miles to the border. We’re not in a rush. It’s cloudy by now but it doesn’t look as though it’s about to rain anytime soon.
We reach our campsite after 5 miles. We camp with Trooper, Sriracha, Poodles and Poodlebee. We make a lovely campfire and all eat our goodies from the bakery. A perfect evening.