Index and other PCT Hikes

Dan's October 2003 Pacific Crest Trail Journal

From Swamp Creek (south of Stehekin), Washington (PCT Mile 2569.4)
to the end of the trail in Canada (PCT Mile 2658.7)
Completed on October 6, 2003, 1:20pm


Wednesday, October 1, 2003
There were scattered clouds all day, but there was no smoke. (Dan)
Camp: Swamp Creek
Miles Walked: 17

Sign Announcing Trail Closures due to Forest Fires Fall Leaves

Thursday, October 2, 2003
Over the previous couple of days, my body had rebelled against my constant lunch menu of nuts and crackers: I couldn't stand them. I gave the remaining food in my pack to other hikers while waiting for the shuttle to Stehekin. I bought several loaves of bread at the bakery for my lunches to Canada. Most of the food I sent to myself at the Stehekin Post Office I also gave away. I stayed at the hotel. (Dan)
Hotel: Stehekin
Miles Walked: 9

Bug Eaten Leaf Fall Leaves

Thursday, October 2, 2003, 2:30PM
Dan called from Lake Chelan, at Stehekin, Washington (PCT Mile 2569.4). The public phone was a satellite phone, which had a significant delay and an echo, making conversation difficult. He had less than 90 miles left to the Canadian Border. The fire still had the trail closed, but there was an alternate route. At Highway 20, the alternate route was to divert northwest to the next trail over. The hikers said this route was shorter, maybe by as much as 30 miles less. Dan expected to make his next call from Canada within 5 days. (Webmaster Gene)

Friday, October 3, 2003
I saw snake, bear, and deer prints on the trail as I spent the day ascending along Bridge Creek. For the previous week or so, I had had an odd sense of trepidation and disbelief regarding the impending end of my hike. The day was quiet, and I could hear the browning deciduous leaves hitting the lower branches as they fell to the ground. (Dan)
Camp: State Creek
Miles Walked: 18

Bear Foot Print along Bridge Creek Note the Blister on the Big Toe. A Needle has been used to run a Thread Through the Blister so it can be Opened and Drained Periodically. This is not my foot.

Saturday, October 4, 2003
I hitched west on Highway 20 to the Jackita Ridge Trail 753, the designated alternate route around the Needles Fire, which was burning on the PCT. As I hiked in, there was lots of smoke odor and haze. My navigation information on the reroute consisted of 2 extremely sketchy maps and some verbal advice, most of which turned out to be wrong. Mileages, directions, etc, did not match the actual trail. When I got about ten miles in, to the Devil's Park Shelter, I started looking for the route east to the PCT. A couple of miles later I turned east and bagged a peak to look for trails. There I could clearly see the Needles Fire smoke column to the east, but not any trails crossing to the east. I circled cross country looking for trails, and eventually returned to the shelter. There I met Treebeard, who had better information, a list of various mileages, basically showing I had nine miles to go (north) before turning east. In the evening, there were lots of clouds and smoke to the east, and smoke overhead, all of which cleared overnight. (Dan)
Camp: 1 mile past the Devil's Park Shelter
Miles Walked: 18

The Smoke Column Rising from the Needles Fire. Note the Trail Ascending to the Ridgeline. Leaves Against the Sky

Sunday, October 5, 2003
I hiked back to the PCT while cirrostratus clouds formed and contrails lingered to the west. At 5pm, there were 30% cumulus clouds. Some in the west were quite dark, though none were very thick. With a building weather system and bitterly cold mornings, I started to think I might have had to race a snowstorm to Canada. I saw no one all day. I camped at trail 473, and there were 80% clouds at dusk. (Dan)
Camp: Trail 473
Miles Walked: 17

Sunset Rays of the Sun

Though the clouds cleared overnight, they returned at dawn (50%) and increased to 100% by noon. Bits of balled up dust on the trail indicated there had been a very brief rain shower overnight, though not where I camped. I confirmed the rain with Treebeard when I met up with him at 10 am. When I reached the border at 1:20pm, there were 70% clouds, which looked fairly threatening. I decided to hike all the way out. When I was a few minutes from the lodge, I saw a bus roaring away, which turned out to be the bus I wanted to catch to Vancouver. I stayed at the Manning Park Lodge, and there was a lot of rain overnight. (Dan)
Hotel: Manning Park Lodge
Miles Walked: 17

PCT Canadian Border Monument Toad

I stayed a few days in Seattle with Rocky and Barbara, and visited some old friends from Boeing, and the places I hung out when I had lived in West Seattle a few years earlier. I then spent a few days in Ashland, Oregon on my way home to San Diego. The whole PCT trip was great, I recommend it. See you on the trail. (Dan)

Index and other PCT Hikes

Forks Port Angeles Port Townsend Oak Harbor Mount Vernon Concrete Rainy Pass Mazama Oroville Republic Addy Northport Metaline FallsLake Cowichan Duncan Victoria Aberdeen Astoria Bellingham Marysville Everett Shoreline Seattle Belleview Renton Kent Tacoma Olympia Centralia Kelso Saint Helens Vancouver Portland Cascade Locks The Dalles Pendleton Walla Walla Kennewick Yakima White Pass Ellensburg Snoqualmie Pass Pullman Stevens Pass Wenatchee Spokane Stehekin Pacific Crest Trail, October 2003 Pacific Crest Trail, September 2003 Pacific Northwest Trail Pacific Crest Trail Oregon Oregon Canada