PCT mile 2588
I awoke baffled, yet grateful...that I had made it through the night without a mouse intrusion. I was quite sure I was going to wake in a state of disarray with the mouse and I battling it out in the confines of my tent. A winning point for me...only a few more nights...could I come out victorious in this vicious mouse territory, I sure hope so.
Wow...today is an awesome day...my last resupply. Once again overwhelmed with emotions...I found myself in tears over the next four miles. I'm going to leave Stehekin today and there will be no turning back, my next stop will be "The End" Manning Park, BC, Canada. How is this possible? Am I really going to do it? It's hard to wrap one's mind around the fact that one's feet can carry it's body and mind on this amazing journey for four and a half months, walking day in and day out, with the goal of 20+ miles a day. But it's true! It's really happening.
Stehekin is a very remote town on the north side of Lake Chalen, so remote there are only 3 ways to get in or out:
1. Hike into North Cascades National Park and take a bus 11 miles into town.
2. Take a hydroplane to and from the town of Chalen.
3. Take a four hour ferry to and from Chalen.
Population of permenant residents <100.
I made the four mile hike to the bus stop and was there by 8:30am. I was shortly joined by Stomper, who made it in last night, and was camping nearby.
On the way into town the bus stops at the Stehekin bakery. For weeks we have heard talk of this bakery and their delicious baked goods. So of course for the last few days I have been dreaming of all the baked goods I am going to indulge once I reached the bakery.
We got to town and found Testament, Gypsy, No Mayo, Danger Spoon and Eeyore. All who got in last night and heading back out to the trail on the 11am bus. I wished them well and said our goodbyes, uncertain if I would see them before Canada, as they would be a half day ahead of me.
I then stopped at the post office to pick up my package, or two. "I think I have 2" I told the postmaster. "No, you have 5." He replied. "Five!!! How am I going to get out of here." I have four days left, I'm tired and want to carry as little as possible. Luckily, two were envelope size. Besides my normal resupply box, I also got a box from my brother, Adam, and his fiancé, Ashley, and the third was the best resupply box ever!
I quickly sorted through my resupplies and repacked my pack...goal was for Stomper and I to catch the 2:30pm bus back to the trail. Once that was complete, I headed over to the pay phone to call home. There is no cell service or wifi here. Just one satellite pay phone. I called mom first..."I'm in Stehekin..." was all I could blubber out as I started crying again. These were proud tears of happiness and accomplishment, I was sharing with my mother.
Back on the 2:30pm bus, we made a second stop at the bakery...I loaded up with some more treats...well actually just some soup and a cookie for lunch this time.
Back at the trail, I ran into a day hiker who had taken the bus to the trail this morning. She passed the message onto me that she ran into Hornsby, who opted not to stop in Stehekin and was now in front of me. "He's hoping you have something good from the bakery for him." Crap!!! In all my gluttony I ate everything...sorry Hornsby.
Stomper and I continued on together for 8 more miles, leaving only 72 miles to the border...securing the fact we would be done in 4 days!