Beautiful weather today, I hated making it a half day, but there are chores to be done. This is my last night in civilization before Canada. And the weather tommorow is supposed to be crap. Let’s hope the forecast is wrong.
I slept in a little since I knew I had a short day today. It was weird getting all packed up in sunlight. I didn’t even wake until 7 am and was on the trail at 7:45. No bear incidents, so that’s good. I could only eat 3/4 of the sticky bun from the Stehekin bakery for breakfast. But I ate the remainder on trail at about ten o’clock.
The climbing continued, but it was not difficult just as yesterday afternoon had not been difficult. I was moving a tad slower, but still kept a good pace. I passed several more campgrounds and several more streams. Most of them had to be crossed on logs, which the forest service sawed the tops flat to make them easily navigable.
My cell phone ran out of power at about 11 am, and being my only maps, I felt a little naked. I had the data book profiles, which I had not used since California, but I pulled the pertinent page out so I could keep up with where I was. I kept the phone powered off last night and most of the morning, but it still lost its juice.
That also meant very few pictures taken today. As luck would have it, the canyon was so narrow that it would have been impossible to get good pictures anyway. I was lucky to get one good one with the sunrise.
The profile map became very useful when I got to stage route 20 and the trail popped out to a trailhead. It seemed to soon to be at the pass, and the data book profiles indicated another trailhead a mile and a half before rainy pass. So back to the trail for thirty minutes and, voila! Rainy pass trailhead and picnic area.
The temperatures were dropping all morning, and at the pass it was quite chilly, so I put on my down jacket and the next car to go by was a pickup truck that stopped to pick me up. He didn’t speak English, but he understood Mazama, so I jumped in the back of the truck and away we went. The 20 miles or so into town were absolutely beautiful. And I got a great view from the open bed of a pickup truck. And it was red, so it was like my own personal jammer bus. This is definitely a place worth coming back to. Perhaps tomorrow morning (tee hee hee).
He dropped me off at the road to town, which led about half a mile to town. I went straight to the general store and bakery and got some premade sandwiches and a latte. Two hikers from two nights ago campground were there packing up and ready to head out. I ran over to the outfitter to get my last resupply box and came back to start packing. I had almost two days of food still with me and one of the other hikers was low, so I gave him a whole days food bag. That made his day, because this store is not cheap. They have alot of neat things and a bulk section, but this is definitely not a Costco.
With the expectation of cold weather and snow, I also got a Balaclava and another fuel canister from the outfitter. I will probably have to sleep in my hiking clothes if the temperature falls below freezing, so clean clothes would be nice. I headed over to the Mazama Country Inn, and got a room and tokens for the laundromat.
Shower was first on the agenda. Then call Karen. Then do laundry. Then when all of that is done, it’s finally time for dinner. The inn has a restaurant that only serves dinner on Friday and Saturday, so lucky for me it’s Friday today. Beer, steak, a loaf of bread with real butter, and ice cream. Oh, that’s heaven.
I’m officially a day behind schedule, so I got ahold of Ken and arranged for pickup a day later than originally planned. I should be able to make it back to Hart’s pass Tuesday night, but not by noon. If things go well, I might be able to at least get there early enough to have time to hitch into Mazama to have a bite to eat and save Ken a treacherous mountain road. Win-win, right?