Stehekin is literally in the middle of no where. The only way to access it is via ferry or a bus shuttle that runs at regular intervals. We were aiming for the 9 am shuttle from a PCT trail head so, being 8 miles away, we decided to wake up early to ensure we arrived on time. It was dark as we left camp and began the walk through the silent forest. However, as the sun began to rise we could see that there wasn’t a cloud in the blue sky above. Today was going to be a sweet day.
We arrived with plenty of time to spare, though the shuttle itself arrived much earlier than anticipated. Hopping off of the shuttle were a load of hiker trash who we hadn’t seen in zonks, including Cheeks and Trouble who we hadn’t seen since Shelter Cove in Oregon. We clambered onto the bus after the brief reunion where we realised for the first time that, with less than 100 miles to go, from here on goodbyes maybe forever.
The shuttle took us down the dirt road towards Stehekin passing by isolated ranches and with a brief stop at the famous bakery. We loaded up on breakfast goods in that 10 minute stop; cinnamon rolls, stuffed croissants and coffee, but we new that after chores in the main town we would return for the remaining hours of our stay.
The town itself is located on the edge of Lake Chelan, the largest lake in Washington. It somewhat resembles the Fjord-lands of New Zealand and its beauty on that sunny day was incredible. Resupply packages were collected, snacks gathered, and yet more long lost hikers found; this time SOS, Dignity and Sugar Glider.
We returned to the bakery via the shuttle and, for the last time on the trail, truly indulged in all the lovely goodies they had to offer. On the table before us were tonnes of wrappers, plates and scraps that just couldn’t fit in our bellies any longer. The bakery itself was a heaving mass of tourists and hikers. More reunions were made, but with 8 more miles to do that day we eventually had to head back to the trail and leave that crowd of hero’s for the last time. No doubt we had packed out goodies
All our bags were far heavier than usual with double the food we actually needed for the next 4 days, but if you don’t indulge on your last stretch, when can you? Will, Audrey, Sour Patch and ourselves stuck together for the 8 mile stretch to Bridge Creek that evening and time flew by in chat. Sugar rushes crashed as we arrived, but a small fire and little nibbles settled us down for the night just right.