August 22, 2016
High Bridge Ranger Station (mile 2569.4) to South Fork Camp (mile 2581.3)
Our total miles: 2175
We woke up naturally around 5:30am. It was still dark out so we lit the kerosene lamp (our cabin didn’t have electricity). We talked and snuggled – enjoying the opportunity to get out of bed leisurely.
We each ate our weight at breakfast. We enjoyed fresh blackberries with yogurt and granola, an omelette each, hash browns, sausage and of course bread with butter and jam for Andy.
We ate and ate until our stomachs, hearts and spirits were full. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our town fund, you helped make this stay possible.
We then packed our bags discussing what we wanted to send home to lighten our load.
Around 9:45 we boarded the white Stehekin Valley Ranch school bus and headed down to “town.” But first we stopped at Rainbow Falls, the old shool house, an organic garden and of course the bakery.
We bought 2 day-old pastries and were talked into buying another freshly made pastry. Really it didn’t take much to convince either of us. Laurie has a gluten intolerance but decided to take another gluten holiday.
She wants to believe that the ingredients are fresh enough to overcome any potential stomach irritation. It may be the power of the mind but so far so good.
The organic farm was amazing too. Karl, the barefoot farmer, is 70 years old. We wandered past tall rows of kale and swiss chard. Both of our mouths watered looking at the fresh veggies. Despite all the temptation we only bought a pear and peach to enjoy with lunch.
We got dropped off at the post office, where we joined the hiker commotion. We were not expecting a line but spent at least 30 minutes waiting to retrieve our boxes.
We had 5 boxes in all – 2 resupply boxes, our umbrellas and 2 surprise care packages. Thank you Amber, Tommy and Ali for all of the goodies! And thank you Mollie for forwarding our umbrellas.
Given the weather report and recent trends we did not accept our umbrellas and had them shipped back home. We also packed our rain pants, pocket knifes and other extra foods into a flat rate box to mail home.
We are hoping to carry on our backpacks and wouldn’t be able to do so with knifes. We hope trekking poles, stakes and tent poles will be okay.
It took us at least an hour to sort through our boxes, transfer items from vacuum sealed bags into ziplock bags (since we would no longer have a knife to use to open them) and divy up the bars.
With all the waiting and sorting we missed the 11:30 bus.
With our later departure we knew it would be harder to make it 15 miles to Fireweed campground, so Laurie walked to the Ranger Station to switch our permit while Andy disassembled the boxes.
While in line at the Post Office we ran into Paul. We had met him the night we camped at the lake waiting for the boat ferry to VVR. He had promised to hike with us to Mammoth to help us with the river crossings.
And here we were together in Stehekin at the same time, although he has walked 406.3 miles more than us.
We chatted, were reassured that we had made the right decision to jump ahead in the Sierras, and rode out together on the 2 pm bus.
We hiked up past Coon Lake and along Bridge Creek. We walked through Bridge Creek Camp and veered off to the right. We hiked through the afternoon, listening to Paul tell stories of his adventure since we last saw one another.
Around 7:30 we dropped down to South Fork camp. The spur trail wound around eventually bringing us close to Rainbow River. We found a flat spot large enough for 2 tents and settled in.
Laurie gave Paul Swedish Fish and he later gave us a rasberry strudel. Thanks Paul! We talked through our tents and all fell asleep around 9 pm.
Tonight we are grateful for care packages from our friends & blog followers and gentle inclines.