PCT @ Stehekin to Mt Baker Hwy
7/25 Slide Rule drove me to Chelan along the scenic route, which became more scenic as we encountered an unpublished road closure which forced us up through Republic (excellent lunch stop!). I shared a motel room with Beans and Poppy.
7/26 11 miles
We walked a couple miles to the ferry terminal and sat on it from 8:30-1 pm, arriving in Stehekin where Poppy found the ranger and got us a campsite permit since we’re in North Cascades NP. We waited a bit, got the bus, stopped at the bakery and started hiking the PCT at 3 pm. This is my fourth hike through this section, I am home! Even camped where Puff Puff and I stayed in 2016 on the PCT SOBO. It was super hot climbing out of the bus stop, I just felt sleepy. Later on there were 2 bad bears, unafraid of us, not aggressive, just too comfy with humans. Pretty though. We hiked on and camped in the lovely and cool.
7/27 22 miles
Beat feet for 12 miles to make noon pick up at Hwy 20, thanks for the ride, Forest! We waited at the parking area for Ross Lake for Beans’ mom Susan to bring the resupply boxes we’d sent her. 2 trail angels in a single day, so thankful for the helping hands. Meanwhile Poppy and first time acquaintance Ravensong went and got us campsite permits for North Cascades NP, which somehow all 3 of us kind of forgot in the scramble to jump over forest fires. Ravensong is about my age and is the first woman to hike the PCT—in 1976! Plus she has a hiker hostel in Mazama, currently closed due to fire, and is just a delightful person. Susan walked a ways with me and Beans to the Ross Lake Dam and then we walked till 7 pm again for the second day in a row, whew.
7/28 17 miles
Dan’s birthday. Beautiful day: trail, trees, everything. camped again with Ravensong, Beans and Poppy. Saw mule deer and a huge toad and met hiker Goon Squad (who I later learned has a BS in Physics from Stanford—oh shades of my dad).
7/29 18-ish 6am to 6 pm
Just bored with walking today so I camped a few miles before Beans and Poppy. A lot of unmaintained trail—obstacles to be negotiated—including blowdown covered trail petering into washed out and dry creek beds. It was hot, the biting flies are undeterred by bug dope, even Deet, and the smoke is obscuring the views. Poor entitled hiker me.
Ravensong looked exhausted when I passed her at the tip of the steep climb up Whatcom Pass.
Another hiker, Allison, helped me pull across the hand tram to our side, then we pulled ourselves across to Poppy and Beans. I was annoyed that they didn’t know hand tram protocol which made me glad to camp by myself and calm down.
Ravensong came by my tent about 8 pm, worried by the increasing smoke in the valley. She was pretty traumatized by the fire in Mazama, flames behind her house. So she was intent on hiking over Hannegan Pass.
7/30 13 miles
Beautiful Hannegan Pass this morning, even as smoke filled the valleys below me. I got over and to yet another gravel road walk down to a picnic area.
I’d contacted Sarah aka Catwater’s Kid to see if she could drive up from Seattle area and take us to Bellingham, some 50 miles away for a night. So Poppy, Ravensong and I enjoyed sitting and visiting and admiring people’s dogs (and a cat in a backpack!!). Sarah got us, we ate dinner out, dropped Ravensong at her house, then did the hiker chores—shower and laundry—-before settling in for the night. I love my daughter!