Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oct 5th - Stehekin

Got very cold last night. Water froze and both the inside and outside of my tent was covered in ice crystals. They melt on my warm sleeping bag and make it damp. Guess its time to sleep with my water and fuel and add my sleeping bag liner. Or maybe I should camp lower where it's a little warmer? NO; it's to nice to wake to all these mountains and snowfields! This mornings view from my tent is amazing. The sky is filling with fire smoke again making some views hazy but it's still grand. The last section followed a river gorge with some nice waterfalls.

Officially crossed into the North Cascades National Park just before reaching the High Bridge. There is a bus that takes you to the Town of Stehekin and I finally caught up with the couple I was suppose to bring emergency food to. Leanne and Niko, who I now know as Blackout and Silky-smooth. They were happy to get the alcohol fuel.

Long bus ride to go only 11 miles but with a stop at the famous bakery on the way of course. Even got a free cookie as a thru hiker. Made it in time for the post office to get my last food for the end of my journey.

The lake and mountains are beautiful. It's one of the three deepest lakes in the nation; the other two are Lake Tahoe and Crater Lake - and we hiked by them all. Watched a float plane land. Only way into town is by boat, float plane, or hiking.

Set up my tent at the nearby Purple Point campground, had a shower, and dinner at the lodge restaurant where I met up with Dazzle. Saw a standing room only slideshow on the history of the original lodge before the railroad dammed the lake for electricity to run trains through a long tunnel that didn't have enough air to burn fuel. Heading to camp I met up with Sticks, Toad and Chipmunk just getting in.

Still some steep and very scenic miles ahead and the days are to short to keep doing long miles. I plan to eat breakfast, take the 11:15am bus, stop at the bakery again, and return to the trail and hike 10 miles. That leaves 20 miles per day to get to Manning Park for the 10th. (They decided to keep running the summer bus schedule over the weekend before changing to limited winter hours that would have made for no time for breakfast or leaving at dark).

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