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Jack and Barb
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Date: Mon, Sep 19th, 2011
End: 2476, Skykomish
Daily Distance: 16
Trip Distance: 2,431.7
Entry Visits: 1,727
Journal Visits: 384,619
Guestbook Views: 167,210
Guestbook Entrys: 482
It was a cold, wet morning but wasn't raining. The spot I pitched the tent on last night was on an angle, perhaps the steepest angle we had pitched the tent on during the entire trip but it worked. Although I slid down toward the foot of the tent during the night, I was assured there would be no ponds under my tent this morning.
I just love these short days. You work hard for a few days, bank miles then you wake up with only a short haul to the next town. Today I would hike a mere 16 miles then, with luck, get a quick hitch from Stevens Pass, down Highway 2, about 15 miles, to Skykomish.
I was off at 7:15. Not more than 10 minutes up the trail, around a corner or two was a much better camping area, nestled in a boulder field. It would have been nice to continue on last night but I would have been caught in the rain while setting up - so it was good I stopped when I did. I don't know why I am always looking for the coolest campsites - heck, I set up my tent, crawl in, eat and sleep. I'm not really taking much advantage of the features. Like a fire ring - Right, me sitting around a fire for a few hours before turning in - ain't gonna happen.
I passed above Trap Lake at about 9am and, as the sky cleared, I was treated to yet another craggy mountain ridgeline view off in the distance. By 12:30, I had done 11 miles and was looking down on Josephine Lake. There was lots of vegetation on the trail and rain pants were pretty much the atire of the day. They were soaked on the outside but I was dry on the inside.
I reached highway 2 at Stevens Pass ski area at about 3 pm. I jogged across the highway where there were a bunch of "do not cross" signs and found a good pull over spot for cars. Traffic was light and moving fast but within 20 minutes, I was riding down the hill with Danny, a local hiker. He was very much interested in my journey and had lots of questions.
I had a decision to make. Would I go to Skykomish where there was a hotel, restaurant and bar or continue on another 10 miles to the Dinsmore's, where I had packages waiting. I chose the first option. Danny dropped me off at Sky and I headed to the hotel. The reasons I chose Skykomish over the Dinsmores were many. Ten miles extra meant more hitching tomorrow. I would be camping in their yard, eating from my hiker pantry. My stuff was wet and needed drying. I liked the idea of a restaurant and bar.
Skykomish is a cute but *different* looking town. The name comes from an indian tribe that was a subdivision of the Snoqualmies (yes, these are all Indian tribal names). With a population of about 200, the town is steeped in history. It was a maintenance and fueling station for the Great Northern Railway from 1890 - 1974. The different looking part comes when you discover that a big environmental clean up was required in 2006-09 necessitating the relocation of most of the buildings in the town. This resulted in a town layout that seemed a bit odd to me.
I checked in to the Cascadia Inn. Henry, the owner, knew the Dinsmores well and arranged for my new shoes and resupply box to be delivered later this day. I hit the bar for appetizers of burrito, popcorn and beer with Mr. Old School, a section hiker. I dried all my gear out on the street (no traffic here) and had a nice dinner at the restaurant, which is part of the Inn. I was so happy to see my new shoes. They had just arrived today, having been shipped overnight last Friday.
I had five days of food to get to Stehekin but I was planning on doing it in four. Tomorrow morning, I would need an early start.
Jack And Barb Take On The PCT
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