Sunday, September 16, 2012

16 September - Day 146 - North Cascades, Agnes Creek Fire, and into Stehekin

From Trail junction (Mile 2557.1) to High Bridge/Stehekin (2580.3)

Total PCT Miles: 22.8

As we hiked toward the "fabled" Stehekin -- the last resupply stop on the PCT -- we were surprised at smoke. A fire on the wooded slopes west of Agnes Creek (where we were hiking) had filled even this far northern end of the PCT with its signature 2012 wildfire smoke. The sunlight was stained. We looked up through a break in the trees at one point and saw the fire burning up a slope. Would we be cut off from Stehekin?

No, as it happened. As we neared High Bridge, the smoke wasn't as bad.But it was hot and dry -- not at all what we have imagined each time we have ever thought of hiking into Stehekin at this point in our journey. Wow.

We hitched a ride with a van from Stehekin Valley Ranch that happened to have brought visitors to the bridge.  At the Ranch, we were welcomed by the owner who gave us a great deal on our overnight stay in two cabins. He even radio'd to the bus driver to bring us 3 six-packs of Corona from town.

We showered, and then it was supper time. What a supper! What delicious food! (Beer arrived!) And what desserts! We then did our laundry.

We stayed in "tent cabins" -- which meant hard walls and floor, but a canvas roof. We were provided kerosene lanterns, as the generator goes off at night. Really charming.

Here's a photo from their website (

[Photo courtesy of Stehekin Valley Ranch]

[Photo courtesy of Stehekin Valley Ranch]

[The food at the Ranch is definitely the BEST in Stehekin -- better than the Landing and Lodge at the lake].

Time for our last zero. Tomorrow, we may head into the landing at the lake where many thru-hikers are staying. But the goal tomorrow is to rest ...

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