I awoke to rain and delayed getting out of the tent as long as possible. I knew I had only 9.4 miles to get to the High Bridge ranger station where I could take a bus into Stehekin and wasn’t in any particular rush to get hiking in the rain. However it wasn’t letting up and I packed up and got on the road in record time. I didn’t stop other than to check the distance a couple of times, and flew through the woods as fast as I could. I made it in 2h45m, an unbelievable pace for me. It’s amazing what the incentive of food can produce.
The Stehekin Valley Ranch shuttle was waiting at High Bridge and I decided to stay there for the night. It meant I didn’t have to go into the village with Rebo’s crew. It’s expensive but includes meals and transport so it works out the same price as splitting a motel room with other hikers and paying for individual meals separately.
Bethany, driving the ranch shuttle, was super helpful. She said I could have free rein in the laundry, and hang up my tent to dry in an alcove by a storeroom. I had a shower and was sitting down to a hot lunch within half an hour of arrival.
Dinner was Western BBQ. Beef ribs and cowboy beans and cornbread. And second helpings after all the guests have been through the buffet once! The same people who run the famed bakery near Stehekin landing also run the ranch so I was able to sample the raspberry and nectarine pie without the hassle of catching a bus. The horse riders I ate dinner with were similarly impressed and we all ended the evening stuffed to bursting point. I’m glad I stayed here.
Camping: Mile 2580, Stehekin