Day 138 – 139, Bannock Lake Detour/Holden Village

Day 138 8/25/18

2531.5-2552.6

When we got into camp last night I could see my breath! This morning is chilly and overcast again, it’s looking like rain today so I’m taking my time getting packed up. Two oatmeal packets soaking and a cup of coffee while I look out at fog laced trees. Once I was back on trail I soon realized what I thought was fog is really smoke. Likewise, the plants were dry this morning along the trail so there was no condensation last night. i do recall waking up last night to the smell of smoke. Below: Ziploc bag for trash and snacks ready to be put in my hip belt pockets.

Below: I don’t understand what the attraction is to my calves! Another sting and while it was raining. This time it’s confirmed as a bee or wasp because it left the stinger and venom sack stabbed into me. I recall reading that the venom sack will continue convulsing even after leaving the bees body so I tried removing it without squeezing more venom, took a few leg hairs too. This one definitely hurt but not much else to be done so keep on truckin!

Above/below: I’ve been walking through some old growth forest and almost walked right past this log but I saw some writing on it. Someone must have taken the time to count the growth rings, you can see 658, 300, 200 and 100 year marks! It’s one thing to walk among giant trees but how often is it possible to touch year 1360, Edward III King of England was ruling. I imagined standing in this very place when the tree was only 12″ in diameter, what did this forest look like?

We arrived at the Cloudy Pass junction at 4pm and made it about 6 miles more into the detour to the lake in the distance below.

Day 139 8/26/18, Into Holden Village and Stehekin, WA.

Below Video: This trail curved to the left and I saw this buck coming towards me so I knelt down on the trail and waited for him to arrive. The breeze headed his direction so he definitely knows what I am. The brush is very thick and he goes off trail for a moment. I scoot further off the trail, make some noise to try and call him back which he does. He wants to pass but another hiker scares him away. He comes back to the trail again and runs away.

The final half mile into Holden Village, remnants of where homes stood in this 1930’s mining community can be seen. A Radio Flyer wagon left behind. The houses were burnt down when the operation closed because they were built on Forest Service Land. More can be read here.

Below: I can’t imaging remembering all these bell signals!

Below: Holden Village cafeteria, look who we caught up with, Nocello (blue jacket)! We parted ways after the Sierras in late June, he went to see family and Kelly drove down to see me in Tahoe.

Above: The Community Center/Church and basement with bowling lanes and pool tables! #mancaveideas 🙂

Below: Continuing the fire detour, the final descent down this valley to Stehekin,WA.

We arrived to late for the bus shuttle to take us into town but fortunately some day hikers gave us a ride within minutes of getting to the trail head. This long descent was hard on the knees and ankles so I had to slow down far more than usual. The ranger station here has free camping sites so we got registered there and headed to the restaurant for a celebratory meal. Stehekin has been this very distant place in our minds, the last close town to the trail before Canada. I don’t think the feeling of actually completing the PCT really sunk in until now, 80 miles is within arms length now.

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