Today we woke early with the intention of getting to Stehekin around noon, getting our resupply boxes from the Post Office, drying some clothing, and then catching the next shuttle back to the trailhead to get in a few miles. Instead, we awoke to find our shoes had frozen solid like they had done a few times in the Sierras. We donned our warm clothes and rain shells and headed down the trail in the dark.
The first part of the day went well enough. There was a light rain off and on, but the wettest part was from walking through the wet brush lining the trail. After about 9 miles we had a snack break, after which the rain decided to really start. With 10 miles to go, we just put our heads down and went so as to get to Stehekin as soon as possible.
When we got to the trailhead, there was an historic guard station with a little covered porch where we hid from the rain brewing hot drinks and waiting 2 hours for the shuttle to arrive. Unfortunately we were out of water when we got there, and there was no place to get potable water nearby, so we were reduced to filtering water through a bandana, bleaching it, boiling it, and then adding coffee/tea to the already tinted water. Totally worth it at the time, but also possibly a new low.
Stehekin itself is a cool little hamlet nestled at the Northwest end of Lake Chelan. Not much to it, but looks like a fun place to go rafting, horseback riding, and hiking during the summer.
Sent from the PCT