PCT WA Section J

Sep. 15: Leaving Leavenworth

This is the first of the posts using the new one-day-per-post format. If you missed the previous post, all you need to know is that these are coming out once per day at 3pm eastern from now on.

First things first, I packed up my camp site. I had been up so late making sure things were in order, this didn’t take long.

Then I walked back to Safeway to get a couple of items I had forgotten. Like toilet paper. Had to buy an entire package to get one roll. Hopefully someone claimed the remainder I left in the parking lot. I couldn’t find any of the canister fuel I use though.

Then I caught the town shuttle. It’s a small town, and the shuttle just goes from one end to the other and back every twenty minutes. I got off across from the main part of town and walked down to a brunch place called Louie’s and got a table for one on the sidewalk in front of the window. There was an umbrella on the table but it couldn’t be opened because it was too close to the window. So I got plenty of sunlight while I ate breakfast. And then immediately after lunch. Why not? That’s the benefit of a brunch place.

During all that eating, I finished and posted a blog post while my mobile battery was charging inside. I had drained it charging my phone while watching videos as I packed and ate breakfast that morning. It wasn’t quite full when I left, and my phone was very low. When I went inside this little brunch joint themed like a traditional Bavarian cafe on the outside, it was blasting the uncensored version of Everlast’s “What It’s Like” over the speakers. A curious contrast, but not unpleasant as I have listened through that album many times while hiking this year.

Next, I walked to the only sporting goods store in town to try to get that fuel canister. The proprietor said they didn’t have any and they couldn’t get any. They were back ordered and no one had any. I would just have to get through the next section on the one canister I had.

So I went out to the main road again, seeing the shuttle drive by just moments before I reached the stop. When I tried to flag the driver, he just waved and kept driving. Since it would be twenty minutes until the next shuttle and it would only take ten minutes to walk to the edge of town, I hoofed it.

By the time I got there, my two big meals had caught up to me. I desperately ran for the Porta-potties behind the Heidelburger restaurant. (Though there was plenty of custom, Su had warned me that they did not have good burgers, so eating there was never a consideration.)

Back out at the road, I made a sign and flagged down a ride fairly quickly. Less than 30 minutes for sure. Beaker and Topher were a free spirited rocker couple, with plenty of tattoos (including Sailor Jerry designs in fact), piercings, and hair color. Beaker in particular was a very dramatic soul and probably the life of her home biker club. A sweet couple more excited to be talking to a strange hiker could not be found. They insisted on a photo before they left me at Stevens Pass, which was great because I would have if they hadn’t.

This whole morning, I’d been carrying around the last two bottles of root beer from the six I’d bought the night before. I’d had root beer with lunch (after the amazing mimosas I’d had with breakfast), but I ordered some from the restaurant like a good boy because outside drink was forbidden. I was still full from all that, so I left the remaining root beers in a bag full of trail magic at the trailhead. And took a protein bar and a Jif to Go peanut butter single serving cup to hike out with.

It was already mid-afternoon, so I had no intention of going particularly far. The first bit of trail was just climbing over the ski slopes, passing right next to our under several of the lifts. Then I passed Lake Susan Jane. Another lake with two female names!

I ended the day next to Mig Lake, a beautiful and large tentsite on the water that I had all to myself.

Total distance: 8 miles

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