Opening Statement

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach
~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Thursday, September 7, 2017

PCT 18 - Yo-yo Climbing - Stevens Pass to Rainy Pass - 127 PCT miles

This is really two sections:  Stevens Pass to Stehekin of 107 miles, and then just 20 miles onward to Rainy Pass.

The first 107 miles was the most difficult section that I have hiked on this trip.  We went up and down several ridges, getting to see spectacular views from the ridges, and finding great campsites and water in the valleys.  Here are my notes showing the mile points, the distances traveled, and feet of climbing between campsites/trailheads.

2461.74 Stevens Pass trailhead
... 16.98 mi, 3970 ft
2478.72 small campsite
... 20.77 mi, 5659 ft
2499.50 Foam Creek trail junction
... 18.76 mi, 5510 ft
2518.26 Mica lake
... 22.03 mi, 5751 ft
2540.29 small campsite
... 20.97 mi, 4844 ft
2561.26 Swamp Creek
... 8.17 mi, 965 ft
2569.12 High Bridge Ranger Station at Stehekin

We were lucky to just have a small amount of smoke during most of the hike, but it really rolled in once we made it to Stehekin.   It seems like the forests are on fire all around us, and we are just lucky that the PCT is still open in the section we are hiking.  I just have four more days of hiking to make it to Canada, so I am crossing my fingers that I can make it through. 

To my surprise, I ran into several hikers that I had not seen since California,  including Robert, Gourmet/Sarah, Jim and Jodie, and another hiker that I had not seen since southern Oregon, named Megaphone, and a couple from Oakland named Jeff and Meg that I last saw in Etna.  Gary Pegg also passed us on the trail with his horses; I saw him last in Goat Rocks.  Everyone is worried that the trail may close due to fire danger, but we are OK so far.

Once we arrived in Stehekin, Robert and I shared a room at The Ranch for two nights to rest our feet and recharge with great food from their kitchen and the Stehekin Bakery, which lived up to it's reputation for amazing pies.  

Hiking on to Rainy Pass, we were enveloped in smoke.  I had called ahead to friends Penelope and Monte, who picked me and Robert up at the trailhead and brought us to Penelope's ranch in Twisp for dinner and a chance to clean up again.  It's a great treat, and I am writing this from a spare bedroom at the ranch before dinner.

Tomorrow Robert and I will get back on trail for the last 69 miles of hiking into Canada.  

Here is a link to the photos for this section: 

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