Friday, February 11, 2011

Disaster Strikes!

The Graduate catches a snake and plays around with it.
September 17: The Graduate and I checked out of our room at 10:30, the official checkout time. I'd have liked to have had it for an extra hour since the bus didn't leave for nearly another hour, but it wasn't too terribly inconvenient. We just went into the lounge and watched TV to kill the time. Danny dropped by too and was shocked--shocked!--to learn about this lounge with the TV, and was immediately sucked into a football game. When he checked in, the rooms were already clean and I guess nobody thought to inform him of this little waiting area.

A little after 11:00, The Graduate and I headed out to the bus stop to catch the 11:15 bus back to High Bridge. Danny decided to stay in town and watch TV, claiming he'll just catch the next bus three hours later. The Graduate and I wondered if he really would catch the next bus or get sucked into town for an extra day. So we left the town of Stehekin. Someday, I thought, I'd bring Amanda here. She'd like this place. And we left Stehekin carrying everything that we would need for the rest of our hike. No more resupply points. No more maildrops. Next stop.... Canada!

I have a policy with wildlife. I leave them alone, and they'll leave
me alone. The Graduate seems to have a different policy. =)
The hiking was largely non-eventful. The weather forecast called for rain all afternoon, but it managed to hold off, much to our relief. A few miles into the hike, The Graduate and I stopped for a short break and we checked out my Erik the Black maps, then pushed on for a couple of more hours before catching up with Colter who took the earlier bus out of town. We sat down to take another break with Colter, and I went to pull out my Erik the Black book to check our progress, and it was gone! My maps! My precious maps! In the wilderness, charging through the backcountry of North Cascades National Park, and I had no maps! No information about water sources or campsites!

Colter let me borrow his maps to take down a few notes and I took photos of the rest of the book in case those turned out to be useful, but I was heart-broken. My maps.... my precious maps.... I hadn't felt so naked since, well, Hike Naked Day. Disaster! How could I have left my maps behind?

Colter harassed me as I took down notes from his map about upcoming water sources and campsites telling me, "It's really nice. You should get one!" Bastard.

Tiki gods seem to protect this fire pit.
(This is also where I think I left my Erik the Black
book. *whine whine*)
I must have left the book at that last stop, and I hoped Danny found it after catching the next bus out of town and would catch up and reunite me with my precious data. Please, Danny, don't fail me now! But I certainly wasn't going to backtrack a couple of hours to look for it myself. Nope, if I was ever get my hands on it again, it would have to catch up with me. I crossed my fingers and hoped....

The Graduate and I stopped to camp after about 15 miles, and he was so industrious, he even built a campfire. A very smokey campfire since all the wood was still wet from the rain the night before, but a warm campfire. The Graduate and I gossiped about thru-hikers behind us, wondering who would still make it and who had already left the trail.

Colter hiked on a bit further for the night, never to be seen again. (Well, not by me, at least. Presumably, others have since seen him. I never heard about any hikers going missing on this section of trail!) It was a little sad every time someone pulled ahead or behind. We were so close to the border now, we knew it would likely be the last time we ever saw some of these people again.

A lot of mixed emotions started flooding me. Anxious to be done with the trail, but already missing it too.

I just love the color and clearness of this water! It looks more like a painting than a real creek!

I took photos of Colter's handbook to get me the rest of the way to Canada.
I didn't realize it until later when I tried to zoom into the photos, but they were
rather blurry and difficult to use. I suppose it's still better than nothing!

The Graduate tries to look macho, taking a break by this creek. =)


Okie Dog said...

Now you've mad me sad because I know there may only be a few more entries of this trail to read..its certainly been enjoyable reading, thanks, Ryan (Mr. Smarty Pants/or no pants at all);-)

Anonymous said...

You've mad me sad too! You could always become a south bounder and give us a perspective from a different direction. So what's next? We got to have something to keep our appetite satisfied.
It has been nice and fun walking with you on the PCT through your blog.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

The color of that creek reminds me of the color that themed water parks try to create artificially. It's amazing to see that it's a real color in nature.

It's a good thing you had a camera on your hike, or you wouldn't have been able to photograph those maps.

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers