We decided to try and get the early shuttle to Stehekin. Which meant getting up at 5am!! We were hiking by 5:50am – my earliest day on the whole trail (that’s what the thought of a flushing toilet and real food does for you) and we were ‘night hiking’ by our headlamps for the first hour.
9.6 miles to get to the bus. We weren’t sure if it left at 9 or 9:30 so we had to get there for 9. It wasn’t raining but everything was wet. The bushes were overgrown and were at times face height. I fell over again, slipped on a wet rock. The trail that was ‘all downhill to Stehekin’ was up and down, and far too much up for my liking, but we managed to cruise along at more than 3mph. I made it at 8:53. I’ve got this hiking thing all figured out now.
At the bus stop I met Notabear and Comet and some forest survey people and a man who had a whole deer that he had killed in his pack. Our plan was to get the 2pm ferry back to Chelan and work the crowd to see if we could get a ride back to Skykomish. As we were discussing it one of the guys at the bus stop offered us a ride. My favourite type of ride, one where you don’t even have to try! We stopped at the bakery again.
When we got to Stehekin we yard saled all our stuff that had been wet for so long as it was finally nice and sunny.
Then someone shouts ‘puff puff’. It’s only Julien!!!
We had burgers and I caught up with Julien. Then Barely came by and was telling us about his night, he injured his knee and someone called Catwater gave him some painkillers. Surely not the Catwater? Julien went looking for her. No sign. Must be someone else. Then we saw her! Oh I’m so so pleased to have seen her. I’m so pleased she is still on the trail and I’m so pleased she is so close to Canada! We had a mutual love in and caught up and all too soon I had to board the ferry.
We made the ferry journey, Thomas drove us all the way to the Dinsmores and Vince drove back to his house where I was invited to stay again. I feel so lucky.
2660 miles. Done.