September 29, 2017
Mile 2566.1 to Stehekin
Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike: Day 147
Well, we've made the decision to stay in Stehekin and wait out the bad weather. It is SO FUCKING HARD to do. It's dropping to 30F (high) and 25F (low) in Mazama, translating to significantly worse conditions in the mountains. The storm is supposed to break on Sunday, when precipitation drops from 70% to 20%. I feel like a sloth waiting, like I'm waiting here so I can properly finish something but waiting itself is the reason I won't be able to finish.
Sam, Vice, and Boathouse went ahead. Vice needs to get home for his family; Sam is giving him a ride to Seattle so he can fly to California. But here me and Alex are, 90 miles from the terminus just sitting here. And me mentally dissecting and ruminating on why it's so hard for me to stay (and be safe) than keep hiking. Maybe part of it is the whole trail being told that X, Y, or Z isn't safe, then we go put eyes on it and come out fine. But this is me listening to the warnings, not going out and seeing it for myself. I'm waiting. And the prospect of more waiting tomorrow. Worry worry worry worry worry.
How about some positive things?
We were waiting for the bus into Stehekin and Sam, Vice and Boathouse walked up just in time to throw around a frisbee and watch salmon swimming upstream by the Stehekin bridge. The bus driver was delightful, and said theres one heckuva waiting list to become a Stehekin bus driver.
We stopped by the post office to pick up a package from Danielle of fluffy warm hats, the inside of the post office plastered with old album covers. We caught the bus back up to the pastry shop, and swung by The Garden, a quiet organic farm to get cherry tomatoes and bright red sweet pears, the Honeycrisp of pears. Heaven.
Met Jerry and Kathy, an a couple who were super cool and adventurous. They climb all the time! To the top of things! There’s a certain reassurance that comes from meeting real adults who still find time for adventure. We sat on the patio of the restaurant with those two and Element and Patience, talking about all sorts of things and drinking wine, looking out at Lake Chelan. Element is a wildland firefighter and repels out of helicopters. There are only 13 helicopters in the country that do this!
The Stehekin Pastry co is as good as rumored. Lake Chelan is more incredible than I could have imagined. Mountains plunging into the water. Kathy said you can have the ferry drop you off anywhere on the lake to have your own private campsite, and when you want to be done camping you just flag them down and they'll pick you up! Someday I want to come back and do that.
Since we're staying in town, we got a tiny little room at the hotel. There are only two twin beds (weird), but they are luxuriously clean, warm, and dry. There is a hot shower. There is a tv with crappy channels. I am tired. It will all work out as it needs to.