Thursday August 13
Start: High Bridge/Stehekin
End: Cedar Camp
Miles: 9.6 miles
Listened to: book- Artemis Fowl; Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
I was awake at 5:15am this morning, around first light. I wandered around camp for a while, set up my electronics to charge, took a bird bath and washed my hair in the sink at the campground bathroom, and then packed up my food from my resupply box while chatting with Dan, Rex, and Steve. I repaired my tent (small holes in the bug netting) and then walked the 2 miles to the bakery for second breakfast (I’d eaten one of their cinnamon rolls from yesterday first thing).
I had a big piece of quiche, a huge pesto, cheese, and mushroom- stuffed croissant, and a coldbrew coffee. I ran into the three SOBO PCT hikers there and we chatted for a bit. They’re zeroing today and rented bikes for the day. They left, and I finished my food and walked down to The Garden, which is a small, organic hippy farm that would be right at home in VT. The hikers were there too, so we chatted a bit more. They left to go up towards High Bridge and I headed back to get started on laundry.
I went back to the campsite, collected my laundry, and went by the store to buy detergent. I said hi to Dan, Rex, and Steve on my way past, as they’re waiting at the dock for the 12:30 ferry. I got to the laundry only to realize that I hadn’t gotten $6 in quarters, so I had to turn around and go back to the store. At the laundry, I stripped out of my shirt and socks, keeping on a pair of underwear, my sleep shorts, and my rain shell.
Once I got my laundry started, I went to the small park across the street and went for an icy swim in my underwear. It was the kind of cold that takes your breath away, making you automatically inhale with a hiss, but it was nice to have a full body rinse. I then dried off in the sun sitting on a picnic table, with a strong breeze constantly blowing across Lake Chelan.
Once my laundry was done, I went back to my campsite, saying goodbye to Dan, Steve, and Rex on the way as they boarded the ferry. I took down and shook out my tent before packing it up, and then packed up my backpack. I broke camp around 1pm, and after chatting with my partner on the laundry phone for perhaps 15 minutes, started walking out of town.
I batted almost .1000 today for hitchhiking. I caught a hitch in the bed of a pickup from Purple Point campground to the bakery on my very first try, and then from the bakery to perhaps 2 miles shy of the Ranch on my first try as well. The second hitch ended up driving by me again (and I didn’t see any cars in between) and they picked me up and drove me to High Bridge, with me arriving at the trailhead at 3pm.
I hiked up the road and accidentally overshot the PCT because it wasn’t clearly marked – only the trail after it indicated that it was the PCT. So I turned around and went back, only wasting maybe 8-10 minutes.
In the midst of this experience, I found out that for some god-forsaken reason, my Guthook app no longer works; it says ‘unknown error,’ despite me clearing the cache and restarting the phone half a dozen times. I will be stuck with my paper maps and Erik the Black pins on my GaiaGPS app to be sure I’m going the right way. I won’t know my total elevation gain for each day (or exactly where I am/if I’m on trail) until I have signal to see if that will resolve the issue; I might need to wait until I’m in town again to delete and re-download it…
So I headed up the valley, following the creek. I passed by Fivemile Camp amd Swamp Creek, and arrived at Cedar Camp at 6:30pm. Swamp Creek had at least half a dozen people and 4 tents, but despite only being 1.5 miles away, there is no one here at Cedar Camp with me. Perhaps I’ll have company tomorrow, since it’s the weekend.