Manning Park

PCT 2018 Day 109, August 9, Thursday Start campsite near Rock Pass, mile 2635.4 End Manning Park resort, mile 2658.9

Miles walked: 23.5

The trail goes to Rocky Pass, but with more switchbacks than appears here.Haze obscures some views.

We have not shown a lake in a blog post for a while, so here you go.

Bible, the young guy and not the older gentleman already mentioned in this blog, was returning from the monument. He refers to the older Bible as the Old Testament.

Later I meet Goofy, who is flipping. I meet Brazil Nut. When I gave her my trail name, she remembered where in Montana we met before, what color shirt I was wearing, the fact that I was recording trail names of all southbounders, and that I told her about a water source. What a memory!

She reached the border, with a very fast hike, 66 days, not quite the women’s record, and has now completed a triple crown. She is hiking back to Harts Pass to find a ride, instead of continuing on to Canada this year.

I reach the monument at the border with Canada around noon.


Strider and NotYetNamed also show up, also headed for Manning Park.

I meet several trail runners, at Manning Park for a (now cancelled) event, and ask them many questions about running gear.

At Manning Park Lodge I am able to get a hostel room at a good rate.

I meet the runners there, and we even have dinner together.

They will not let me pay. These are good people, excited as I am about finishing the PCT, and make me feel welcome at their table.

A family I met on the trail, who just hiked Washington together, offers to take me to the Greyhound station tomorrow.

I do not see the other hikers like Hollywood today, and need to ask their advice about transportation.

Harts Pass

PCT 2018 Day 108, August 8, Wednesday

Start campsite at Methow River, 2604.1

End campsite near Rock Pass, mile 2635.4

Miles walked: 31.3

From 4.5k, the trail climbs up to Granite Pass, and then up to 7k. The trail stays up on high steep ridges for much of the day.

Haze blocks some views.

Harts Pass is a popular trailhead for section hikers.

Some thru-hikers, after finishing at the border, backtrack to Harts Pass instead of going in to Canada, and get rides from day hikers.

Two dogs enjoy a trickle of water after a long hike on a high ridge with no water.

Near Rock Pass and campsite

The campsite has at least eight tents, and Hollywood arrives shortly after me.

Also today I met Hot Pants and Belay.

Finished audiobook Lady Susan, by Jane Austen.

Finished audiobook Preferred Risk, by Frederik Pohl.

Rainy Pass

PCT 2018 Day 107, August 7, Tuesday

Start Bridge Creek Camp, mile 2574.3

End campsite at Methow River, 2604.1

Miles walked: 29.8

On the trail up to Rainy Pass I ate many blueberries, but I was not the only one. I meet a lively group of people my age out for a section hike northbound, a group that har been together for many years. We chat for several minutes. The hike up to Rainy Pass, 2,1k to 4.9k, was covered with trees, blocking views. At Highway 20 the mountains come into view. Up near Cutthroat Pass, 6.8k, unusually smoke cloud formation from an active forest fire dominates the view. I am told this is not from the Cutthroat Fire, but a different fire that does not threaten the trail, and that fires change smoke appearance during toe day in this area. The trail stays on the side of exposed ridge for several miles, past Granite Pass, 6.8k, and the views are inspiring. The trail descends to 4.4k. Just before dark I arrive at a campsite near a river, and Hollywood is already camped there.

Holden Village and Stehekin

PCT 2018 Day 106, August 6, Monday

Start mile 9 of 11 of Hart Lyman Trail, then skip to milepoint 2569.4, Highpoint ranger station

End Bridge Creek Camp, mile 2574.3

Miles walked: 6.9

On the way in to Holden I meet Avocado, camped with several hikers just out of town. He is not stopping at all in Holden, but going through to finish the fire detour trail into Stehekin.

A covered bridge leads to a small hydroelectric installation. Holden Village is a Lutheran family camp with lodges, yurts, and… no cars. They have been really kind to the PCT hikers that unexpectedly showed up due to trail closure. Hollywood, another northbounder, explained to me the amenities, like free showers, free laundry, low price meals in the cafeteria, free cereal anytime, a computer with internet in the library.

After continental breakfast, we check the internet and find that the PCT is still closed to the north of us at Rainey Pass due to the Cutthroat Fire. Both Hollywood and I decide to skip the 17 mile final part of the fire re-route into Stehekin, and take the ferry on Lake Chelan there instead. Several southbounders have said the trail is difficult, overgrown, and somewhat dangerous. Holden offers a shuttle to Lucerne to catch the ferry in late morning, for a modest charge. The ferry, Lady of the Lake II, allows purchase of tickets on board, at reasonable rates. Some campsites can only be reached by ferry or other watercraft. I miss Lake George… The ferry stops at Stehekin Landing. Shuttle busses can take us further up the road places we might want to visit, for a substantial ticket price. Hollywood and I stop by the park service station at the Landing, and learn the happy news that the trail is now open! I get a camping permit to a camp location a few miles past High Point, while Hollywood decides to stay the night in Stehekin. I walk to the post office and get my last supply box! After organizing my food bag I go back to the general store to buy wifi, only to learn that they were out of vouchers, whatever that means. I take a free shuttle to the famous bakery, to spend a couple of hours recharging and grazing, until the final shuttle. Avocado is at the bakers, and describes the hike I skipped. He decides to spend the night here and get his supply box in the morning.

When the Red Bus comes to tack me to High Bridge Ranger Station to resume the PCT, Hollywood is there, having changed his mind, along with Clutch. The young ranger chats with us for a while, eager to improve his knowledge of local trails. I hike to the campsite assigned on my permit, joined by Clutch at dark.

Finished audiobook Your Days Are Numbered, by Myke Bartlett.

Bannock Lake Fire Detour

PCT 2018 Day 105, August 5, Sunday

Start mile 2527.4, creek near campsite

End mile 2549.3, then mile 9 of 11 of Hart Lyman Trail

Miles walked: 30.9

Descending down to walk along the Suiattle River, I pass a grove of the largest trees on the PCT. A climb from 2.5k to 6k brings Suiattle Pass, and views of more glaciers. The trail diversion due to wildfire is well-marked. Southbounders tell me the route is clear and easy to follow. The steep climb to Cloudy Pass reminds me that other trails are not built with the limited grade specifications of the PCT. This is what toilet facilities look like at many of the recent lakes. The trail goes by Lyman Lake and then Hart Lake, both with many campers. Blueberries, or huckleberries, are at peak ripeness just beyond Hart Lake, and yon can reach your hand out and grab several at a time while passing. I walked until dark closer to Holden Village, a Lutheran Camp that southbounders tell me is a nice place to stop and have a meal, or perhaps more. Breakfast is from 7 to 9, and I would not like to be late.

Before today, approaching southbounders did not know much about fire diversions, having missed them. Now they offer advice. One that impressed me warned me that the next part of the Bannock Lake Fire detour, 11 Mile Creek Trail and Company Creek Trail, is 17 very hard miles, and that the final descent to Stehekin is treacherous, and that he would not hike it in the direction I am going. He suggests an alternative, that I will explore more at Holden.