I left Stehekin with a pang of trepidation, not for what lie ahead but simply because all of my gear and supplies would not fit in my small 3,900 cubic inch pack. I ran for the bus thinking I had already missed it and had Ann wait while I ran back to grab my pack, my stuff sack and my grocery bag. I got a big slice of lukewarm quiche and a decadent square of koochen (just go try it, you’ll see why it’s my favorite…) at our requisite bakery stop and, after an hour packing at the trailhead, I had made it all fit. 37,000 Calories and gear enough for 12 days below freezing, the most my pack or I have ever carried. It is all in, or on, there. I estimate it’s weight at about 36 lbs, plus 7 lbs with full water.
And I hit the ground running. 13 miles, gently climbing up Agnes Creek the whole way to top out at 4,000′ feet for the evening. The trailhead had been a scant 1,600′. I had covered the better part of four map pages. It was beautiful. “Too hot” an old bent over fellow had warned me. It was the nicest day I’ve seen yet. I sweated profusely and it was wonderful. I hiked until I couldn’t see and I sleep happily among the mosquitoes by a curiously warm spring right in the trail. A few footprints in the mud, perhaps days old, are the only remnants of my mates I’ve seen.
Start: High Bridge
Camp: Sitting Bull Basin
Length: 13 miles