Miles hiked: 19.4
Cumulative PCT Miles: 1622.6
Camped at: n/a, staying at Stehekin Lodge with Caroline/U-turn and Brad/Patch
I hiked over 19 miles today by 2:51pm. Yes, I knew the exact time as I was hurrying to make the 3pm bus to Stehekin, my last resupply stop in Washington state. This morning I was happily going down the trail, content to know I’d be on the 6pm bus. I soon met up with U-turn, who camped with Caveman and Patch ~3 miles ahead of me last night. We hiked together until 11am, joy of joys to hike with someone who has about the same pace as me! She stopped to take a break with Caveman, who wasn’t feeling well. She caught up to me at about 1pm, and we realized that if we hurried, we might be able to hike the 5 miles to the road and catch the 3pm bus instead of waiting around for several hours for the next one. She took off running down the trail, while I lost it laughing – amongst the many topics of conversation this morning, she had mentioned she didn’t know why anyone would ever trail run with all the potential obstacles (ie rocks and roots) in the way! Guess town was a good enough incentive for her to try it ;). Despite having some difficulty learning where the bus would pick up from, of course I chose the wrong way coming out at the road, I made it with a few minutes to spare, whew! I’m glad the only really pretty views were early this morning – if I was going to go fast through any scenery, unremittingly similar forest is better than the alternative I suppose. My pups are barkin’ tonight though – not enough break time today that’s for sure! I don’t know how folks can hike all day long and not take breaks, it’s just not how my body operates. At least, keeping up long term endurance.
On the bus there were wildly differing opinions on Section K so far. While acknowledging the fact that I’m not actually done with Section K yet, as it extends beyond Stehekin, I have to say that it’s no where near as rugged or difficult as so many had told me. Expectations are key once again in handling my mental experience! Yes, I went slower on some days due to the unrelenting elevation change but the trail for the most part was in great shape. Only one bad washout thus far, and many blowdowns….but very few rocky areas where I had to watch every footfall, and nothing where I was questioning if I should be hiking there alone.
The bus driver waited several minutes at the famous bakery several miles out from town, and I wish I had thought to get a sandwich, though the baked goods I had were marvelous. The restaurant here in Stehekin is expensive, and none of the menu options really tempted me at those prices. I decided to get a room at the lodge tonight to spoil myself a bit – with the free camping here and beautiful weather I didn’t really need a bed, but I sure wanted one! U-turn and I had been talking about sharing a room if the price was right (Stehekin is pretty expensive, not that surprising as it’s out in the middle of nowhere), so I invited her and Patch to stay with me. It feels good to give some hiker karma back :).