Day 137 mile 2572.3 – 2572.5 (1/4 mile to the bus stop)
Elevation: not much
Well today both Double Down and I were very excited to have the biggest nero of the trail. We only had to hike 1/4 mile to the bus stop which would take us to our last town stop, Stehekin, WA. Because we had a VERY short walk today it also meant we could sleep in. So the alarm wasn’t set until 7:00.
Once we were up, my hatred for rodents rose to another level. I guess sometime in the middle of the night one of these suckers tried to chew through our mesh to get into the tent. Not sure what stopped him but the damage was done. What was super frustrating is that we don’t ever keep food in the tent, so I’m not sure what it was after. Maybe it was the smokey scent of our clothes and it thought we had a barbecue. Either way, I had to patch it using some Tenacious Tape.
After getting camp packed up and our packs loaded, we took off for the long 1/4 mile hike to the bus stop at the Historic High Bridge Cabin. We were joined by a new hiker we just met this morning Zach Galifianakis (ZG for the rest of the post), who is also going into Stehekin. We were joined by Iceman as well. The bus promptly showed up at 8:40 and once we all boarded, the converted school bus swept us off to the Stehekin Valley Ranch.
As we got off the bus, it became a hiker reunion. We saw Disco (formerly Ultra and now Captain Ahab) who we last saw at Little Jimmy, and Vortex from the Crater Lake area. It was crazy to see these two here! The room we had wasn’t ready yet, which worked out fine as we had to go to the town of Stehekin for our resupply box. So back on the bus we went along with Disco, Vortex, Iceman and ZG. The bus runs this route 4 times a day right now, shuttling people up and down the valley. Our first stop was Rainbow Falls which was a quick walk from the bus to see it.
Then it was quickly back to the bus, because the next stop was the famous Stehekin bakery. This was the stop that our mouths had been drooling about all morning. As we exited the bus we ran into Thomas, a thru hiker we last saw just before Etna. After saying hi and catching up a bit we got into the bakery. Wow!! The choices we had in front of us were awesome, or at least our stomachs thought so. We grabbed 3 day old cinnamon rolls (which I am packing out on the trail), 2 bacon/ham/cheese rolls, a lemon bar, pumpkin cream cheese muffin and 2 fresh cinnamon rolls. HOLY DIABETES!! Then it was quickly back to the bus as it was getting ready to leave for the next stop.
The next stop was an organic garden which we didn’t get off to see but it looked beautiful. From a health standpoint, the bus probably should stop here before the bakery 😜. Then it was off to downtown and the post office. We grabbed our last two resupply boxes and a few things to supplement our cravings. Double Down even purchased some WiFi so she could work on getting a blog post up. The WiFi was great at first but slowed to a crawl before we had to leave to get back on the bus and to the Ranch. The town of Stehekin is very small but super cute being on the Lady of the Lake. This is a huge lake and you either get to the town by ferry or hiking in like we did.
The only bummer was somehow my Gatorade bottle and little coozie was missing from my pack as we loaded back on to the bus. The coozie was something I made from heat resistant material, used in homes, that is super light and was great at keeping our coffee hot in the mornings. Iceman remembers seeing it on the ground when we first got there but didn’t know it was mine so he didn’t say anything. Jerry, the bus driver, was nice enough to look for it on his next trip into town but he never found it. Guess my coffee won’t stay hot as long on the next leg. Could be worse things to lose, but it was definitely nice to have.
Once back at the Ranch we got into our room/cabin. Unfortunately, since it was noon it was time for lunch so we had to go eat again before showering. After filling our bellies for the second time it was back to the room for showering. We also got to put our smokey, sweaty clothes into the washing machine. Only bummer is that with limited electricity, there are no dryers. This meant we got to make shift a clothesline to dry our things.
The rest of the afternoon we spent trying to use the crappy WiFi to work on the blog, packing our food bags and organizing our packs for the last time.
Dinner time was announced by a staff member ringing a large metal triangle. Tonight flank steak with fruit, veggies, rice and bread was on the menu. It was delicious! For dinner we were joined by two more thru hikers, Sparkle and Wooter. There was a lot of laughter talking about funny stories from the trail and learning more about each other. For dessert we had our choice of 6 different pies with, or without whip cream and ice cream. A thru hikers dream!!
All in all, today was a pretty darn great nero!! I can’t believe this is our last town before we touch the northern terminus in about 4 days. I think with the down time and calories our bodies consumed, we are ready to finish off this journey!!
Thanks for all of your continued support, it is definitely helping to lift us to the finish!! Link