Steven's Pass to Rainey Pass
Meeting people like Mr & Mrs Dinsmore restores my faith in people and puts us right back into the thru hiker life we had been missing. Being off trail this past week was really tough for us, we hadn't planned it and although it was fun we just want to keep hiking.
We picked up some resupply packages we had sent there and stayed the night at the Dinsmores, along with 15-20 other hikers. The next morning we went over to the store and had breakfast with everyone. We were all given a ride back to the trail by a nice, local gentleman who shuttled hikers every day in several trips. Our packs were so heavy when we headed out for this stretch. We packed 7 days worth of food so we wouldn't have to stop in Stehekin.
Our daily miles really varied during this week as we headed to Rainy Pass. One day we did 22 miles, the next only 12. The weather started out sunny and beautiful but day by day grew much colder. The terrain was very difficult in some sections, steep and long climbs every day. The day before we arrived at Rainey Pass we were almost out of food. We thought about catching the ride out to Stehekin but really didn't want to spend the night and waste the time. We walked down the side trail toward town and met a few hikers who were headed into Stehekin to pick up their resupply boxes. They had some extra food and they offered it to us. With our food bags now filled back up we headed toward the trail. Or, so we thought. We went a good two miles down the road in the wrong direction before realizing our mistake. Bonus miles!
The next day we got to Rainey Pass just as it started to pour, how ironic. Luckily a young couple stopped and picked us up right away. We went way down the highway to this strange town called Winthrop. A big new town set to look like an old western with wooden boardwalks throughout the whole town. It was very touristy and spread out. We got our groceries, fried chicken and ice cream and got out of there. We were given a ride up to the tiny town of Mazama. Our guidebook says that there is a hostel to stay at called Ravens Rest, owned by the first woman to solo hike the Pacific Crest Trail. When we showed up there, it was perfect timing. Raven Song, the owner, had just come back from a month long vacation. There were a few other hikers there some decided to stay the night.
When we woke up the next morning we took showers, packed up and headed over to The Mazama Store for breakfast. There we ate the best breakfast of my life. We had breakfast sandwiches that were so good, we each had two. We ate giant cinnamon rolls and drank coffee until noon. It was amazing. We finally hit the road to try and catch a ride back up to Rainey Pass mid-afternoon. We saw another hiker heading toward the road, trying to get back to the trail as well. I'm not sure if we lucked out or not but a flat bed truck pulled up and offered us all a ride on the back, up to Rainey Pass. This was the most memorable ride of my life, thus far. The driver took pleasure is scaring us half to death by driving so fast. It was kind of fun but certainly not a speed we are use to when we're out walking in the woods every day. We all survived the ride, the driver gave us all some apples they had just picked from his farm and sent us on our way. There's never a dull moment on the PCT!