Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 152 - Campsite near pct mile 2577 to Stehekin

It is always nice to hear the rain drops on my tent, while I am cozy and warm inside. Or wasn't even much of a rain, and there were no winds where we were.
We got up at 6:00, and the rain was all over. By the time we finished eating and packing, the skies were blue and clear of all rain clouds. It was going to be a very nice day.
We hiked the easy hour we had left, to High Bridge Ranger Station, and got there easily at 8:00. Sitting in the sun, we waited for the 9:00 shuttle down into Stehekin.
Lighthouse suddenly asked me if his permit to enter Canada is all he needed in order to actually cross the border. Well, checking his I noticed it is not signed. You are supposed to print it, fill it up and send it to some office in Canada. Lighthouse missed the sending it out bit. It seems he will have to hike back from the border to Harts Pass, instead of getting into Canada. That's 30 miles instead of 9. Bummer.
A somewhat stoned ranger came by and gave us some information about the ranch and landing area. We got more accurate and useful information from the bus driver, when it came.
She told us we can reserve dinner at the ranch, and that they will cover our shuttle fee from the landing to their place and back, so we did just that when we had a short break near the ranch.
Next came the bakery - I only bought a quiche, a cheese and mushroom croissant and a cinnamon roll. Lighthouse got at least three more things in there.
Then, we had a short break at the farm. We tasted the lahssi and cheese, but I ended up buying some cherry tomatoes and a nectarine. They were both delicious.
We finally reached the Stehekin landing at about 10:00. After picking our packages from the post office, we got our free permit for the campsite and set our tents. Lighthouse's package wasn't very good, and he needed some extra food that he luckily found at the store's hiker box later.
We went back to the store in the afternoon, and I wanted to buy some wine to carry with me to the border. I picked a 0.5 liter boxed wine from the fridge and bought it, but later Lighthouse told me it was white wine, and I wanted a red. I asked the lady at the store if they have any red, and she said they just ran out on those. But then she offered me a 3 liter box they got by mistake. She offered it to me at twice the price of the 0.5 liter box, and gave me a bottle of water for free, so I can fill it up and carry out only 0.5 liter anyway. Now I just had to find somebody to help me drink the remaining 2.5 liters.
Lighthouse was not drinking alcohol, and Banjo was not into wine. A bit later we saw the Canadian brothers, Luke and Justin, come around, but they weren't into it as well. Luckily, the bus also brought over Tick Tock, Dewey, Ball Buster and Sizzler, and they helped a bit. At the end I gave the remaining wine to Amy, who worked at the store, and earlier had given us loads of ramen noodles and a bottle of coke.
It was just then, that I made the best decision I had ever made on the trail - I went back to my tent to drop off the wine and some other stuff, before we go to dinner. It was only a 2 minute walk, but on the way back to the store I finally saw bears! I saw a big one, probably a momma bear, carrying a fish between her teeth right next to a house on the lake's beach, and two bear cubs taking her. They went behind the house and crossed the road ahead of me, and then climbed up through the forest on the other side. The people in the house also saw them. It was awesome. I'm so happy I finally saw bears on the pct.
Lighthouse and I almost missed our bus to the dinner at the ranch, but the bus driver came over and called us. Dinner was tasty enough, and I was full afterwards. But apparently the price didn't include the ride back, so we had to pay for that also on the bill, which was annoying. At least they had Wi-Fi at the ranch, and I got to send some messages back home.
Back at the landing, we talked with Ball Buster some more before going to sleep. All the other hikers are camped at the spill over campsite near the visitor center, and only us two are at the normal site.
The sea plane taking of Chelan Lake
Justin, Sizzler and Ball Buster
Tick Tock, Lighthouse, Banjo, Luke and Dewey
Lighthouse playing with the auto blur feature on his camera phone
Lighthouse and Banjo. And 3 liters of wine.