Wednesday 17th August
Start: Stehekin, off mile 2461
End: Bushcamp, mile 2484
I am very happy with the big push we made today – we made a good dent in the 108 miles to Stehekin! Our last resupply point before Canada. That said, my feet are paying the price, and my leg strain issue is being kept at bay using ‘vitamin I’.
We were not the only hikers trying to leave Skykomish and get on the trail this morning. Dan, a strange solo guy who’s name I never got, and an English couple who live in the US were all congregated around the deli besides the highway. The deli have a readymade hitchhiking sign for hikers to use to get back to the trailhead, so we took it in turns to flash it at cars and get rides. There was a bit of friction with the British couple really giving our nation a bad name. Why can some of my fellow countrymen be so stiff? I think they thought we were going to try and push infront of them, but that wasn’t the case – I went to help the lone guy get a ride (without my pack on). It’s called being a ride bride as cars stop more frequently for women!
The hike itself was hardwork. It is still very warm, but I am grateful it is dry. The elevation changes are continuing, as we weave up and down granite rocks and forest. A lady with a dog who had camped at the first lake we passed today told us that they had been visited by bears last night! There certainly were a lot of berries flanking the trail. I hope they don’t reappear for us!
A couple of horse riders who had overtaken us near the start ran into some issues. They had dismounted the horses and were walking besides them due to a steep, rocky section. Just as they had saddled back up, a tree blow-down ended their 4-day trip early. They tried to go around it, but the cliff was too steep. For the first time I was happy to be walking as we climbed over whilst they turned back just 5 miles in. Before they left, one of the horses had the nerve to slap me bang around the face with its hairy tail. Wham! I didn’t even see it coming.
We met a Aussie thru-hiker named Sam at a creek whilst having lunch. We chatted a while, and bumped into him again latter in the day. He, and our new best friends the ‘other’ British couple are now all camped together besides a small creek.
I hope that we can push again tomorrow as we have had a few warnings from south-bounders about bad blow-downs in the last 40 miles of this section. That could really slow us down in reaching Stehekin, and there are only 4 buses a day to town. We need to make one of those buses in 5 days time or we will be very hungry! And very sad.