September 1st Day 158 – We arrived at the High Bridge Ranger Station and waited by the frothy aquamarine Stehekin river dotted with miniature frogs for the bus that would take us to into town. The night before we’d met up with Double Barrel & Frank the Tank again and before noon Silver Fox & Joker, thru-hikers we’d met briefly in Ashland, arrived. Heather, a Triple Crowner who met Joker through the PCT community in Bellingham, Washington, had also joined them at Steven’s Pass. En route to Stehekin we stopped at a marvellous bakery where we consumed bountiful baked goodies. Ahh! We’d fantasized about this moment for weeks!
Stehekin is a remote village on the edge of Lake Chelan accessible only by foot, boat or plane. We dealt with some blah blah logistics and then proceeded to lounge about on the grass with the others. I was hoping to go for a swim but it became cloudy and eventually even began to rain. Thankfully there was a little shelter complete with picnic tables & fireplace right beside the lake. Here we were joined by even more hikers and enjoyed a lovely evening of merriment.
One of the biggest things I’ll miss about the trail is the great variety of fun people and the instant community that develops amongst thru-hikers. Where else can you meet a wealthy businessman, country farmer, Marine, tech whiz, academic, personal trainer and biologist all in the same place? However, at least for the PCT front runers, there’ve been very few women. So it was fantastic to FINALLY have my first chance to hike with another women (even if she’s called Frank 😉 )
* A Triple Crowner is someone who has hiked all 3 of the National Scenic Trails in the US: the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail