Day 134 8/21/18 Zero in Leavenworth.
Yesterday Kelly picked us up at Stevens Pass and brought us into Leavenworth, a small touristy Bavarian themed town. We sometimes drive up here during the winter when the streets are glowing with Christmas lights and candy canes. This is the last stop for Kelly until she picks us up at destinations unknown due to fire closures. We have 2 detours in front of us and today we were able to check for updates, nothing has improved. The first detour is the Bannock Lakes fire south of Stehekin which starts at Suiattle Pass (2552) and bypasses 20 miles of the PCT. This detour sends us through Holden Village, a mining town originating from the discovery of ore deposits in 1896 by James Holden.
The second fire closure will end the PCT at Rainy Pass/HWY 20 and send us west to walk the East shore of Ross Lake for 30 miles up to the Canadian border. Unfortunately this means we wont see the northern terminus of the PCT unless we drive into Canada and walk south 8 miles from Manning Park, BC. After so many miles and not to physically touch our intended goal has been a difficult pill to swallow. We are coming to grips with this, after all it’s the journey that matters and we’ll have walked to Canada regardless of the end point. Alas, with 5 days until this detour we still hope for a severe rain event that could snuff this one out.
Above: Black Hole and Bud Light getting creative with grocery items to make a loaf of french bread a savory masterpiece. A little cultural difference I learned while observing them in regards to tomatoes. Black Hole (Spain) cuts the tomato in half and squeezes/rubs the juices into the bread while Bud light (Netherlands) and myself slice the tomato and put them on the bread, skin and all.
Below: As we walked the side streets of town we came upon this painting and couldn’t resist the photo op. A person walking by offered to take our picture even! So, there are a few facial expressions happening here that might give your imagination some fun. But what is really happening is the sun burning holes in our retinas as we hold steady for the perfect smile…..fail LOL. A new character to this blog is Pecorino (at right Tuba player), we met him a few days ago and he showed up at the KOA office just as I was paying for a tent site so I invited him to camp with us.
Day 135 8/22/18
2464.1 – 2482.5 20.4 miles
Above: Breakfast at the Renaissance Cafe courtesy of Bud Lights parents! Thank you!
After breakfast we walked to the edge of town and started the “have pity on us campaign” to get a rather long hitch back to the summit. In terms of hitch hiking 3 is a crowd so we were very surprised that after only 10 minutes we had a ride! A local named Linda and her dog Leroy decided that today was the day to offer her very first hitch, thank you Linda for giving us a chance!
Bud Light had a package to pick up at Stevens Pass Lodge, but unfortunately it hasn’t arrived and no status on it’s whereabouts. Black Hole and I had some extra days of food to give him plus what he had remaining from the last resupply. A little shopping in the hiker box and he had enough to get back on trail. Unless I haven’t mentioned it previously a Hiker Box is a box where hikers discard unwanted items including non-perishable food.
Below: I spotted some Gray Jays (Camp Robbers) nearby and I knew that all I needed was to hold up a peanut to lure them in. Soon Bud Light arrived and was able to feed them too, his first time seeing this. As you can see my shirt has seen better days, it started as a long sleeve but took a mortal wound from a branch and I made it a tee shirt. It needs to cling to my body a few more days!
Another Q&A from Troop 3616, Makenzie writes:
What motivates you to keep going on the trail? Who are your biggest inspirations?
What motivates me, I think it definitely helps to know that each day will be different. When I get to the top of each mountain the view on the other side is a surprise. I have a distant memory from when I was probably 5 years old watching Little House on the Prairie. The opening scene of each episode shows the 3 girls running down the hill. I can recall getting close to the TV screen to try and see what was on the other side of that hill. I think that is what hikers are out there to do, see whats on the other side and keep going.
I think the first question of what motivates me is also tied to your next question, “Who are your biggest inspirations?”. I can’t really think of someone who inspires me above anyone else. However, I will spin this another direction. One of my goals with this trip besides reconnecting with myself was to inspire my children. They are young and just beginning their adult lives. Soon they will be consumed by starting a family of their own or becoming career driven and getting fancy things.
I have been married for 24 years and never been away from Kelly for more than a week or two. When we decided to start this adventure some people asked what was wrong with our marriage. I get it, although we talked and texted a lot while I was gone leaving a spouse for 5 months isn’t normal, nothing was wrong with our marriage but it is even stronger now. I also left my job with no plans on what to do next which is also not a normal thing to do. The short answer here is, I’m inspired by who my children will become because of the examples I’ve shown them even if its not normal.
Great questions, who inspires you Makenzie?