Pacific Crest Trail – Day 98 (32 miles)
I woke up early. The haze from the surrounding fires is getting worse, and I cannot see the surrounding ridges. I pack up camp and walk over the Suattle River bridge to begin the climb of the morning.
I had to go up almost 5,000ft (1,600m) but it turned out to be a very long, slow climb. It never got steep, but it took me almost 15 miles (24km) to reach the pass.
I started in a dense old growth forest with huge trees and a thick undergrowth of ferns and moss. As I climbed I gradually made my way to a sub alpine environment. It was lovely to see this transition.
At the pass it changed into a huge exposed valley with towering rock outcroppings. I walked under these on scree slopes that stretches far as the eye could see. The trail stayed level for well over an hour as I made my way through the scree.
I then began to decend into Stehekin. This was an uneventful until I came across a couple of guys trying to film Thru Hikers for a documentary they were making. With a camera in my face I talked with them for quite a while as they tried to dicect my journey.
When I finally said goodbye I noticed I had 5 miles to Stehekin and only an hour to get there for the last bus of the day.
Damm. I started to run.
It was fairly flat ground and I made good time stepping between the rocks and the roots. Of course that I had the sudden and desperate eurge to use a toilet. Back on trail, and not sure if I will make it now, I increased the pace.
It was fun speeding through the forest as fast as I could!
I arrived at the rangers station and looked at my watch nervously… 5 minutes before the bus was due! I made it and even had time to enjoy one awesome looking river with almost vertical cliffs on either side.
The bus arrived and I began the 11 miles into town.
Arriving at Stehekin, I headed straight for the restaurant and ordered the most expensive burger of my life. I eat and talked to a couple of people who flipped from California to the Canadian boarder and we’re now heading south.
We ended up talking late into the night. Eventually we headed to find the PCT campsite for bed.