Date: Sunday, 27 August 2017
Start: High Bridge Ranger Station at Mile 2569.4, 1581 ft
Finish: High Bridge Ranger Station at Mile 2569.4, 1581 ft
Daily Miles: 0.0 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 2029.1
Weather: Warm and sunny
Accommodation: Basic cabin at Stehekin Valley Ranch
Breakfast: Oatmeal, omelette, sausages, bacon & hash browns, scones & jam
Lunch: Toasted roast beef & cheddar roll, ice-cream
Dinner: Salad, roast chicken & vegetables, peach cobbler & ice-cream
Aches: Blister on left heel sore.
Highlight: Lunch, ice-cream and multiple delighful pastries from the Stehekin Bakery
Lowlight: None really
Pictures: Click here when they can be uploaded which may not be until September 1st because of low Wi-Fi bandwidth and no mobile phone coverage.
My small cabin was very comfortable and I had a good night’s sleep, despite waking early. After enjoying a huge breakfast, I opened my Walmart packages and repacked my food for the next four days, the only real chore I had remaining for my time in Stehekin.
At 9:15am, I joined the shuttle bus into Stehekin, which stopped at various points of interest on the slow 11-mile trip along a narrow bumpy road. The other guests got out at the 10-minute stops to look at the sights – Rainbow Falls, the old schoolhouse, the organic garden – but I was too lazy and stayed on the bus.
The town, if you could call it that, of Stehekin was basically a jetty, guesthouse, small store, campsite and visitor centre, but it was bustling with passengers embarking and disembarking from one of the two ferries that visit each day. It is at the northern end of Lake Chelan, the largest natural lake in Washington, which is bordered by towering mountains, and is obviously a popular summer vacation destination. The store didn’t have anything I needed, so I watched the holiday traffic while I waited for the shuttle bus to make the return trip up the valley. This time I got them to drop me at the justly famous Stehekin Bakery, where I hung out, read my book and had lunch until the shuttle came by from meeting the second ferry of the day and drove me back to the ranch in the early afternoon. I then killed about 90 minutes using the spasmodic Wi-Fi and internet connection to book my bus ticket from Manning Park, where I finish in Canada, to Vancouver, and then a bus from Vancouver to Bellingham in the US where I have a rental car booked. Only problem is that the second bus departs at the same time the first bus arrives, so I don’t know how well that will work out! The problem is that the two later buses that day are already full, a spanner in the works of my careful planning. I’m hoping I can work out a Plan B when I get to Manning Park and hopefully access some Wi-Fi.
After another scrumptious dinner, I went to bed early, mentally prepared for the next four days. I intend to breakfast at 7:00am, make myself a sandwich lunch, then catch a shuttle to the trailhead at 8:00am. Although there are some climbs in this last leg, it doesn’t look quite as tough on paper as the last two legs. Hope I’m right!