It was only 5.1 miles into the High Bridge Ranger Station, where a shuttle takes people down to the town of Stehekin. The only shuttle that would get me to the post office on time was the first one at 9:15 am so I started hiking at 6:50 and made it with half an hour to spare.
I had entered Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and North Cascades National Park right before the ranger station. There was a bridge up high over the river there, and I could see bright pink salmon hanging out way down in the water.
The shuttle came and discharged some hikers. The rest of us climbed on and then all stared out the window at some of the baked goods those hikers were sitting down to eat. Fortunately, once we got going, the shuttle made a stop at the bakery and waited while we all went in and got breakfast. I got quiche lorraine and a giant cinnamon roll.
We then continued down the dirt road to Stehekin, a town only accessible by foot, boat, or float plane, on Lake Chelan, the largest lake in Washington. About sixty people live here year round. The private property is within the national park as their ancestors were here homesteading 150 years ago, way before the park.
I got my packages, had a shower and laundry, and found some old friends in town. We hung out on the store’s porch the rest of the day, had a big dinner at the lodge, and then camped for the night nearby.
This is my last town stop before the Canadian border, which I will reach in just a few days. It doesn’t seem as momentous as it should because I still have 411 miles to go back and do in Oregon.