Sunday, February 20, 2011

PCT Trail Scenes #119: Welcome to Stehekin!

Indie and I arrived at the shuttle area just in time to take the bus into Stehekin so we could pick up our resupply, get a weather report, and refuel before everything closed for the weekend and the season.
Stehekin is such a cool little town, it was like going back in time. Most of the houses are actually rustic log cabins. It felt like we were at the edge of civilization.
Stehekin has an amazing bakery, where Indie and I bought some pastries before heading to the post office. It was unsettling to see the bakery selling the very last of its goods before shutting down for winter. There wasn't much left when we passed through.
I thought I was in Alaska when we arrived at Lake Chelan. According to Wikipedia, there is no road access to Stehekin, though several miles of road exist there. It is reachable by passenger ferry, by foot over the Cascade Pass, the Lady of the Lake, or private boat from Chelan, or by floatplane. The vehicles in Stehekin have been barged there on Lake Chelan.
I told Indie that I thought Stehekin would be the perfect place to end the PCT. The town is so unique, a booze cruise would be the ultimate celebration to the town of Chelan, where one could eventually find their way home. However, looking at a map of Washington, it is only fitting to continue on to the border, despite the arrangements and extra paperwork to get home from Canada.

If I was ever to hike the trail again, I would set aside a little extra cash to spend more time in this one of a kind place. When we arrived, Indie and I quickly sought out the weather report for the next three days. We needed a good weather window in order to finish the last 90 miles. The report was ominous. It showed a huge storm moving in, leaving Indie and I unsure of the best course of action.
We discussed our options with ranger Mark, whose soft spoken nature attracted this butterfly above. He informed us of a rest area 20 miles to the north along the road at Rainy Pass, one of the last roads before entering the final stretch of wilderness into Canada. If the storm became too unbearable, we could hike to the rest area, and hopefully get a ride with someone into one of the final towns to wait out the storm. We were so close, but felt so far from the finish!

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