Thursday, September 13, 2018 – 6 miles
I walked the rest of the way to Stehekin Road this morning. The trail was still in good condition, so I have to assume that whoever started the rumours of ill-maintenance skipped Grider Canyon (and can’t be blamed for it).
I didn’t feel like hitchhiking so I started walking to town, but was eventually picked up by the Stehekin Valley Ranch bus and received a free ride to the bakery from the friendly employee/owner.
The Stehekin bakery is a big attraction that hikers look forward to. I ordered a sandwich and a sticky roll from Employee #1 at the counter, paid for a sandwich and a sticky roll at the cash register operated by Employee #2, sat down at a table and eventually received the sandwich but not the sticky roll. When I went to the counter to enquire, Employee #3 told me that they had been out of sticky rolls for some time and treated me like I had lied about the order! Employee #1 was elsewhere. Employee #2 said that she couldn’t remember me paying. I told them that I had paid by credit card and they could check the receipt, but Employee #3 said that the receipts weren’t itemized. Yeah, but you would see that the total was the exact price of a sandwich and an item that I didn’t receive, whether it was a sticky bun or something else the exact price of a sticky bun? Employee #2 eventually gave me two day-old cinnamon buns, which were about the same price as the sticky bun, but I’m still annoyed because I don’t feel like I was believed. Do they have reasons for this suspicion? Is this something that people do? The only other time that I’ve been accused of thievery was when I was also looking like a scruffy hiker and using a self-checkout at an Australian grocery store; an employee was hovering around and became absolutely convinced that I was trying to steal an item until I made her scroll up so that the charge was displayed on the screen. She was really reluctant to scroll up, too. Always so reluctant to seek proof of innocence…
After visiting the bakery that I won’t be returning to, I continued walking down the road. It was a nice walk with interesting features like the old Stehekin schoolhouse and a gumball machine.
I met some friendly people, including an older fellow who had worked in Saskatchewan at the same clinic as my sister’s partner. Therefore, 20% of the people I’ve met who have visited Saskatchewan have an association with my family (see how deceiving statistics with small sample sizes can be, kids?).
The front door of the Stehekin post office opened into a hallway filled with stacks of hiker packages, which led to a small room filled with hiker packages. Basically the employee was living in a state of constant danger of being crushed by hiker packages, and moreover was coming in after hours to label them. I both admire and pity the postal workers along the trail. I picked up my bounce box for the last time here and mailed some unneeded items back to Canada, then pitched my tent in the campground and went to the lodge for supper. The server asked whether I would sit with another hiker, so I ended up sitting with Buffalo, who I enjoyed talking to. She had started out from Holden Village with her brother and father but ditched them to reach the restaurant before closing (a completely valid reason for ditching). The abandoned family joined us later though and we finished the meal together. The food was very expensive, but the hamburger was the best I’ve had along the trail. Also, her dad treated us. Hurray for parents paying restaurant bills!