Day 90, 8/24, Hopkins Lake, M-2644, 24mi

It was a cool morning with a biting wind… definitely felt like Fall. The ground cover is even starting to change colors at the higher elevations

Waiting for the morning sun to reach us and warm us up !

A fantastic view up above tree line.

We took some extra long siestas since we had a shorter day planned. The 1.5 hour mid-day stop with a nap in the warmth of sunshine was perfect!

Darth Vada got an “old school” text message…

It was from her dad who is doing a backpack trip in the area.

Apparently, the Llama was a bit shy and didn’t really like the downhills (he’s new to backpacking)

High meadow walking under blue skies.

The lake,1000′ below, is where we camped for the night… 6.5mi to Canada 🇨🇦!

We were excited to get in earlier than normal even with our extended siestas, arriving just after 6pm.

Unfortunately, there was a cold wind and we spent the whole evening in our tents. Not the worst thing but the lake was so pretty it would have been a perfect place to relax on the shore.

Hard to imagine the folks who are first arriving here in late Sept. and Oct, often with snow falling.

Day 89, 8/23, Harts Pass, M-2620, 29mi

Testing out last nights bear-hang. There’s no way a bear could reach that 😉

Looking back toward North Cascades National Park.

2600 Mile Mark (less 540)

The last climb (6500′ today) had some good views.

The Harts Pass Campground was full (all 5 sites) so we just pitched our tents in the woods.

A shorter day planned for tomorrow…24mi to a small lake. Only 31 mi to Canada!

Day 88, 8/22, Porcupine Creek, M-2591, 24mi

The morning was a fairly relaxed because the bus back to the trailhead doesn’t leave until 8:00 am. I didn’t sleep real well…needed to hike more miles? It was one of the warmer nights so that wasn’t helping either. Our plan was to walk the two miles to the bakery and be there by 7:30 when they opened, then we would catch the bus when it came by just after 8:00.

A calm morning on Lake Chelan.

In case a pick me up is needed on the walk to the bakery.  

 I will have to come back and do some paddling 🙂

This time I got one of the famous sticky buns… and straight out of the oven. It was phenomenal! Then had a bumpy 45min bus ride to the trailhead to shake it all up.

Houston, we have a problem! Luckily, there was a log we could use to cross just upstream.

We hiked most of the day through North Cascades National Park, the 7th and final park of the trip.

It heated up pretty good today… mid-90’s. And of course we had an exposed climb during the heat of the day that just zapped us. We took a long siesta in the shade of some pines next to a creek. The shade made a world of difference but we couldn’t lay there all day 😦 The early evening was much more comfortable and we rolled into camp around 7:15pm. Our only additional chore being the first bear-hang of the trip. The bears are fairly active in this part.

So, only two more nights before Canada 🇨🇦 …kind of hard to believe !

Day 87, 8/21, Stehekin, M-2569, 13mi

Today consisted of a quick downstream stroll to the High Bridge Ranger station where the bus to Stehekin, WA picks up hikers every couple hours. We were motivated by both the famous Stehekin Bakery (sticky buns!) and timing things so we could catch the eclipse while not buried in the (magnificent) trees. We covered the 12 miles in four hours and were in a perfect open area to view the eclipse. Unfortunately, since we would only have 90% totality it was too bright to see anything without the fancy glasses. Luckily, I remembered the pinhole trick from the last eclipse (1979) and poked a hole in a piece of cardboard then projected the light onto some paper from my journal…38 years was a long time to wait for an eclipse!

The Agnes River carving its way through a gorge.

Projecting the eclipse using a cardboard pinhole.

Lounging at the picnic tables (for 2hrs) while we wait for the bus.

A giant rattlesnake slithered across the road giving us some entertainment.

Our chariot awaits.

One of the best cinnamon rolls ever!

Hanging out it Stehekin on the shores of Lake Chelan.

Stopped by the tiny post office which was filled to the gills with hikers’ resupply boxes.

The evening sun.

This little town is only accessible by boat, float plane or foot and is surprisingly busy in the summer. Most of the afternoon was spent doing laundry, showers, organizing food, eating and relaxing. There is even free camping for hikers behind the visitors center 🙂