Day 165 – 9/22/15
1 mile beyond Hemlock Camp
Miles – 25.3
Total Miles – 2636.9 (PCT 2558.0)
Last night we were visited by the the devils of the forest . . .mice! We had at least two of them outside the tent. Several times I put cracker crumbs and trash bags out for them to occupy themselves with. Our poor tent has more holes in the netting from mice than swiss cheese as holes. Patches of duct tape spot the sides of our tent. In the hope to fill up their stomachs, we also tried powered mashed potatoes, but they did not eat them. We thought that we had made it through the night unscathed, but we found a couple of new holes in the tent where they chewed through making their way into one of our food bags. Luckily, they only got to a trash bags. Stonefly and Chickadee camped next to us, and they too were invaded by the annoying creatures! I guess this is why the locals who backpack regularly up here hang their food at night. We come in so late and are tired, hanging food is the last thing we want to deal with. Anyways, we packed up quickly in the morning and headed out. We really wanted to make good distance today. With the poor weather conditions we have had lately, our daily hiking milage has been as dismal as the weather. We first had an easy five miles of down to a bridge over the Suiattle river. This is a new bridge, just a few years old. The old one was washed away in a large flood several years ago. The replacement bridge was placed further down the river in a location that would not be destroyed when the river flooded. This added 3.5 new miles to the trail. We got to the bridge in under 2 hours, stopped for a bite to eat, then started a 4 mile traverse. Next came our big climb, a 3,000′ up. It was easier than we feared and thus we moved up it at a good pace. We reached the top of Suiattle Pass around 3:00. Crossing the pass, we started a very large down. We will finish it tomorrow at High Bridge. That is the end of the road up from Stehekin. We will catch a bus from there and go into Stehekin to pick up one day’s food. We originally planned a major re-supply at Stehekin, but because of the uncertainty of trail closures in this area, due to fires, we decided to send our box a day further to Winthrop. Also this will give us a chance to see Bling who is with his Uncle Lew and Aunt Florence. Thanks to all the recent rain all trails are now opened. Even though it was a sunny day, it was cold. When we started down from Suiattle Pass, there was ice on the ground and on the plants that had not melted from last night. Winter is coming and we need to get this trip over before it hits us. However, we are more eager for news from Bling. We are counting on him healing enough to limp his way into Canada. He is missed beyond measure!