Monday 15th August
Start: Bushcamp, mile 2451
End: Skykomish, off mile 2461
We said goodbye early to Paul and Joe. The mosquitos had made camp particularly unbearable this morning. I wonder if they have followed us all the way from Oregon?! At least they forced us to scale the first mountain in the relatively cool morning air.
We passed through lots of pretty meadows dotted with small lakes. At the top of our second climbing section we met an unusual character. A guy thru-hiker who had left Mexico exactly 1 month before we started Oregon (that means he has hiked 1716 miles more than us in that time)! He had dreadlocks and hikes in sandles and fleece socks, carrying a pack no bigger than a day bag. No wonder he wasn’t keen on standing around talking to us – he had to get to Stevens Pass for food!
Stevens Pass is another closed ski resort. The only sign of life was a handful of hikers, and a small open giftshop. We picked up our resupply package there, and enjoyed a toasted sandwich. Whilst polishing off an essential icecream and chatting to a retired hiking couple, a young guy dressed in black approached us to offer us a ride! Easiest hitchhike ever! I really wasn’t looking forward to standing on the highway in the heat with my little cardboard sign. Turns out that Spider completed his PCT hike 6 days ago and was in the area collecting some of his gear. We were so grateful for the ride.
We got dropped off outside our hotel in the tiny hamlet of Skykomish. The place consists of an active train line, and a few historic wooden buildings along it. That is about it. The trains are also by law required to honk their horns when entering ‘town’, so it promises to be a fun night! The Cascadia Inn is simple, but fine (there is nowhere else). My biggest disappointment was that they had sold out of pie. What a blow.