Day 116: Stehekin!

September 3rd, 2021

Mile Marker: 2572.9

Miles Hiked Today: 22

We woke up early this morning with a goal of hiking 22 miles by 4 pm. If we could make this, then we would be able to get on a shuttle to the town of Stehekin. Hitching is impossible on this gravel road and the only way to Stehekin from the trail is to take the shuttle at certain times. We also wanted to make it in time before the post office closed. Today, we needed to hustle.

We climbed the rest of the way up the mountain and had stellar views of the mountains near us.

The sun was shining bright again today. Even as we hiked back down the ridge into the forest, the sun was beaming through beautifully.

Mid morning we had a little bushwhacking to do through overgrown bushes. It always surprises me when we walk through a trail section like this, but I just push through like they aren’t even there.

We also walked by some ginormous trees today. Journey had pointed one out to me initially and my jaw dropped once I stepped back and saw how huge it was.

Around noon we stopped for a quick lunch break and realized how little food we had left in our packs afterwards. I had one Knorr pasta side and a bar left. We, without a doubt, had to make the shuttle. We finished off our lunch break with our favorite hot drink; cocoa and fireball. It was just what we needed!

If we stayed at a 3 an hour pace, we would arrive an hour early to the pickup spot. We wanted this buffer time, so we put in our headphones and took off.

As we were hiking quickly down the trail I had the thought about wanting people to feel my love. How I just wanted people to feel appreciated and loved when they were in my presence. I thought about how it wasn’t always an easy thing to do all the time, but how it was something I wanted to be aware of. I wanted people to walk away from me feeling happy and uplifted.

Right before we made it to the trailhead, we could see a bright red bus waiting near a picnic table. Once we got to the trailhead, we read the shuttle times on a posted paper and it read 3 pm and 6 pm instead of 4 pm. We immediately looked at the time, saw that it was 2:50 pm, and started running toward the bus. We made it just in time. I knew Planner and Conrad were close behind and had my fingers crossed that they would show up. Unfortunately, the bus driver kept to schedule. As soon as it was 3 pm, we were on the move down the road.

The shuttle makes two stops, one at a well known bakery and the second at Stehekin.

The bakery I had been told, makes the best cinnamon rolls on trail. You guys all know, that I did NOT pass this up. I was hungry and beyond ready.

And yes… it was cracked out to be what everyone had said. It was incredible. Melt in your mouth soft and delicious. My mouth is watering just writing this.

About 10 minutes later we arrived in Stehekin and it felt shocking almost. This was the last town stop. This was really it. After we leave here tomorrow, we will be so close to finishing the trail. I had to stop myself from feeling overwhelmed.

We went straight to the post office to grab our resupply boxes and were even able to grab Planner’s and Conrads too. (This would save us a tremendous amount of time tomorrow morning.)

Journey and I went and grabbed some beers to enjoy and finished repacking our food bags. As we were sitting around the designated PCT hiker area, Journey decided to jump into the nearby lake and most of us nearby hikers decided to follow suit. The water was cold and refreshing and served as a nice bath. 😄

Afterwards we took our stuff to the designated PCT camping area that was free for us and then headed back to the restaurant in town.

Planner and Conrad showed up right in time for ordering some food for the night. While we all sat and talked over dinner I thought about how I am not ready to leave this life nor these people.

It all feels bittersweet because I knew starting the trail would be an epic adventure that I would love and I also knew that leaving would be a painful heartbreak.

A bittersweet heartbreak.

Iz and Oz

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