One long climb

Day 29 – 8/4/16
Bridge Creek
Miles – 16.8
Total Miles 446.6 (PCT 2586.2)
Since the store did not open until 8:00, we slept in a bit. It was a warm night.  We packed as quietly as we could because other campers were still asleep. We got to the store a little before eight and waited. Once it opened, we got some extra candy bars, drinks (to celebrate with at the Canadian border) and bus tickets back up to High Bridge. We boarded the bus 15 minutes later. Of course the bus stopped at the bakery and we got breakfast and more treats for the trail:  3 kutchens, 2 sandwiches, a mountain bar, and a huge cinnamon bun. When we got off the bus at High Bridge, we sat down on the picnic table and had breakfast. We finally hit the trail at 10:00. It was a late start but we’ll worth it for breakfast from the Stehekin Bakery.
The trail away from High Bridge was all up, almost 25 miles of it. We needed to hike beyond the borders of the Northern Cascades National Park because we do not have a permit to stay the night. That means that we needed to cover 15 miles today. The hike up the valley is not very exciting. The trail stays up on the side of the valley above Bridge Creek. It crosses it once on a big bridge. The day was very hot with limited shade.  We hiked slowly.  About 5 miles into the climb, we stopped at the first of 4 designated camp grounds. We liked this spot because it had a picnic table and was in total shade and a small Creek nearby. We ate our sandwiches, even though we were not hungry and played cards. We did not want to leave. It was cool and it was relaxing to just sit and hang out together without walking! Grudgingly, we got going.  We saw four bears in this section:  a Mama Bear and her two cubs and a solitary one.  As the day was ending, we finally turned north and hiked out of the  National Park. We camped at the first flat place we could find which was in front of an old fallen down bridge. Early tomorrow we will cross Rainy Pass which means we are only four days from the Canadian border!

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