Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 104: Chocolate Bars and Toothpicks

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 – 11 miles

Today’s breakfast options consisted of toast, hard-boiled eggs and muesli/cereal with various toppings. When I accidentally took a piece of gluten-free bread, a man at the toaster recommended I toast it multiple times so it wouldn’t fall apart. It didn’t fall apart, but it tasted terrible. No amount of jam could save that bread!

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Holden Village

After eating and packing I encountered a hiker I knew, Bruce Lee, who told me that he was completely out of food and fuel and waiting for the store to open at 10:00 AM. I had hoped to buy batteries for my headlamp at the store, which was already closed when I arrived yesterday, but didn’t want to wait around until 10:00. Bruce Lee didn’t pass me on the trail today, so I wonder whether the store had only candy and chocolate bars and he had to take the ferry to Stehekin.

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I saw no one except a few day hikers in the morning, which was nice. The trail climbed steeply to Hilgard Pass, but wasn’t badly maintained or excessively difficult. In elevation gain and steepness it was similar to this PCT section and the last. Views of the valleys and surrounding mountains were good though autumnal.

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The weather behaved until I reached the pass and ate an unfulfilling lunch (the end is too near, I can’t be happy with trail food).

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Clouds covered the last vestiges of blue sky as I descended into the valley and I was treated first to rain, then to tiny hail, then to rain again. It didn’t last long enough to be a bother and I dried out somewhat on the pleasant walk through the valley along the creek.

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Long downhills tire me out and I stopped to camp early when I saw a site. I don’t know how far I walked or how far it is to the road (the above distance is a guess), but it doesn’t really matter. The total distance from the village to the road is 17 miles so I’ll arrive sometime tomorrow.

One of the chocolate bars that I bought at Stevens Pass has instructions for how to open the wrapper… I’m reminded of the toothpick guy who gave up on humanity in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

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I never would have guessed.

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