Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 131, Stehekin

Daily mileage: 13
Mile 2567-2680

13 miles to the bus stop that will take us to Stehekin and it's infamous bakery as well as my last town stop on the trail. The bus comes 4 times a day, and we could wake up early and haul butt to the 9:15 bus or sleep in and make the 12:15. No contest, slept in and didn't hit the trail until 6:30. Then it was a leisurely trip down the canyon. Crossing bridges and listening to the river the whole way down.
Less than half a mile to the shuttle stop you cross Agnes Creek and officially enter the North Cascades. Everything seems like a milestone now, excitement is at a ridiculous level.

I had the biggest grin on my face over those 13 miles. Hiked most of them with Matt as the trail rolled on by. Even with our late start we were sitting back cooling our heels at the shuttle stop a few minutes after 10. Which was fine because we got to sit and relax and chat with a bunch of section hikers and other folks waiting for the bus until 12:15. Plus by the time the shuttle had come all of our various group members had caught up. The shuttle stops at the bakery on the way to Stehekin and it was chaos. We had only 10 minutes and after a few gave up and decided to just walk the last 2 miles to the town. The whole shuttle ride is 11 miles which is why we took it in the first place, 11 extra miles nope but 2 is fine. Oh the bakery is amazing, so many delicious baked goods, and such tasty pizza!

So glad we skipped the rest of the shuttle. A quarter mile down the road is a local farm that sells delicious produce. Beautiful flowers, amazing peaches and nectarines. Even fresh goat cheese. Life is so good, although man some of the worst mosquitoes in awhile at that farm.

Then we were at Lake Chelan and the town of Stehekin. 3rd deepest lake in the country and the largest in Washington state. A very small community that's really only accessible by ferry or plane. Very cool spot.

Hung around for hours with a ton of hikers, there were at least ten section hikers and other people popping out of the woodwork. Some folks who we saw months ago who have skipped sections and are now up here. I'm pretty sure the restaurant had no clue how to deal with 12 thruhikers. Our meal took forever but it was hilarious sitting with everyone. People are so giddy right now that it's just a fantastic atmosphere.

We were all camped on the lawn because both the regular campground and the overflow campground were full. Just a bunch of thruhikers on the shore of an amazing lake, how fantastic is that?

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