RIP Ed Anderson

anderson0909This is a long overdue post that I have wanted to write for a friend and mentor, Ed Anderson.

Ed Anderson completed a true thru-ride of the Pacific Crest Trail on his horses, Primo amd Neekalos. It took him 4 years to ride all 2660 miles. He began expecting to do the trail in one season but obstacles prevented him from accomplishing it. Ed persevered and was eventually able to finish the entire trail.

Ed heard I was attempting a thru-ride in 2013 and found me at The Saufley’s when I zeroed there. He was SO supportive and encouraging of my ride, and he gave me some contacts that had helped him during his ride.

I only had the pleasure of knowing Ed for a short time. He was such an amazingly kind and generous person. Ed was very involved with the PCT community and helped anyone thinking about riding on the Pacific Crest Trail. I respected and looked up to Ed because he approached the trail the same way I did. He was thoughtful and meticulous and always put the safety of his horse first. Before my ride, I had read about countless accidents on the trail where riders lost their horses. It was very refreshing to meet someone in the PCT community who was not only an accomplished equestrian but also felt that the safety of the horses was more important than any goal of a section or thru ride.

Ed passed away in the summer of 2013. I was shocked and heartbroken to hear the news. He will forever be missed.

Here is a link to his obituary: http://obituaries.mendocinobeacon.com/obituaries/mendocinobeacon/obituary.aspx?pid=167661647

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Trail Angels

The kindness and generosity of strangers along the PCT is amazing. There are a number of people who go above and beyond to help hikers and open up their homes every year. Hikers call these people trail angels. Last year, we only had the opportunity to stay at one trail angel house, The Saufley’s. Donna and Jeff were so supportive of my ride. I couldn’t believe how amazingly generous trail angels were to hikers. At Echo Lake, we met a family who insisted on having us for dinner. They let us stay in their spare bedroom and fed us dinner and breakfast the next morning. We kept my horse in his corral in their yard. They are not regular trail angels but they were for us.

This year, I was able to stay with multiple trail angels and they were all so supportive and accommodating. In the desert, Larry and Mary Lou went out of their way to help us after we got caught in a storm. They picked us up, kept my horse at their place while I went into town to exchange my tent, and they also fed me and let me stay in their spare bedroom. Larry has been keeping the water cache at Scissors Crossing for many years. Hikers depend on this cache to make it through a very long, dry stretch of desert. I also had the pleasure of staying with Ziggy and The Bear. They have been hosting hikers at their home for 15 years. They allowed me to use their place as a base as I jumped around and rode multiple sections in that area. The Saufley’s Hiker Heaven is at mile 455 in Agua Dulce. 2014 was their 18th year hosting hikers. Donna has horses at her house and let me keep my horse in one of her paddocks. It is so wonderful to come in off the trail and have a home away from home to regroup. I also received tremendous support and encouragement from all the feed stores I stopped at along the way. Thank you to everyone!! I thoroughly appreciate all the help I received from trail angels and I know the hikers are equally appreciative of everything these angels do for them.

Bridge of the Gods

Valentino and I headed out for our final 148 miles. We rode from mile 2007 at Santiam Pass to Cascade Locks. We rode a half day Thursday afternoon, a VERY long day Friday, and then got to Barlow Pass late morning on Saturday, where my rig was waiting. I had planned to ride 5 more miles up to Timberline Lodge to have lunch but it had been pouring on us for the last few hours, so I decided to call it a day and drove up to Timberline for lunch. I had heard a lot of stories about how good the food was and it did not disappoint. After lunch, I drove hay and water to Lolo Pass for the next night – my last night on the trail. I camped at my truck that night. The next day was foggy and cold but no rain. We rode 23 miles to Lolo Pass. It turned out to be a beautiful day. We also ran into three people we’d met in the desert but had not seen in 2500 miles and another guy we met in Washington last year. Todd and Cara had spent the morning in the bathroom with us at Sunrise Trailhead. It was great to see them again, and we hiked with them most of the day.

We got to our campsite super early. Valentino roamed around and grazed while I set up camp. Then I stuck him on his highline with some hay and had a relaxing dinner. It was a nice last night. I wanted to get up early because we had 30 miles to do and then had to drive home, but I couldn’t do it on my last day. We didn’t get on the trail until 7am. We had a great last day picking huckleberries as we went along, and we took a long lunch break at Wahtum Lake. We got to Cascade Locks about 7pm and we stopped for a snack before heading across the bridge.

The Bridge of the Gods is an open bridge, meaning it’s like a big grate so you can see all the way down to the water. The woman at the toll booth was very skeptical about me taking my horse across the bridge. I explained to her that we were on the PCT and that I had ridden him across last year. She was very concerned that he was going to “freak out” but agreed to let us cross. We stopped many times to take pictures on our way across. Cars passed us going both directions. Valentino didn’t even blink an eye. He is fine with traffic and was not at all worried about the bridge. We crossed in the dark and rain last year so it was wonderful to see the views and get the full experience of that awesome bridge. We pulled off into a turnout on the other side and waited to be picked up. That was the end of our thru-ride. This year was very challenging. I questioned my reasons for doing it again multiple times, but, at the end of the day, it was all worth it. I have ridden my horse 6000 miles in 18 months and he looks amazing. I am so proud of him.

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Last gaps

I kept Valentino in a corral at the lodge in Manning Park and camped overnight in Canada. The next day, I headed back to Oregon to do a few more days of riding before I had to be home. Valentino and I did 93 miles of the 241 we skipped in northern Oregon. We just had 4 wonderful days off. We have 148 miles to complete our thru-ride and plan to be done by the end of the month.

Oh, Canada!

Even though we were only 30 miles from Canada, we still had to make it through a bunch of significant washouts. I had heard stories ranging from sidewalk cracks to the Grand Canyon, so I had no idea what we were heading towards. I was going to take two days to get to the monument so I wasn’t hitting the washouts at dark. I talked to a hiker who was also an experienced horse person and she said we could make it through all but the last one. It was impassable to stock. She also said that a forest service crew was out camping in the area and planned to repair the washouts. We only went 15 miles the first day and camped at the same spot we had last year.

The next morning we headed out toward the washouts that were only two miles in front of us. I had yet to see any trail people. We turned the corner at the saddle by Rock Pass and headed down the north face. It felt great and strange to be walking down a section of trail that we had been trudging through 3-4 feet of snow on last year. Then we arrived at the infamous washouts. I had recently been told that a dog could not walk through them and that hikers were barely making it. I was thoroughly disappointed. The first washouts were mere dips in the trail. I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash if it wasn’t for all the hype. The final three were the huge, bad ones but at no point did I wonder if we’d be able to do it or not. They were just big ditches. It was no big deal walking down one side and up the other. The first one was no problem at all. I ran ahead of my horse with my pack on. The second one was slightly more challenging only because I could not keep up with my horse in the loose scree so he passed me and followed the route up the hikers had taken. I expected the trail to be there but it wasn’t. Thankfully, my horse turned around and stopped so I had time to catch my breath and look for the trail. It was 10 feet below us. It was at that second the first trail crew guy showed up. He shouted over that we had no choice but to come back through the washout and do it again. I said no way! And, instead, led my horse 10 feet down the scree slope onto the trail. I told him someone should put a rock pile next to the trail because obviously all the hikers were going across and up and then cutting down after locating the trail. It was deceiving and unnecessary when they could cut straight across. He said they planned to build trails through all the washouts. Nice but too late for us! We continued on to the third and final washout. It didn’t seem like too much of a problem. I tied Valentino to a rock, hiked through and left my pack on the other side. It’s hard to run with a pack on. Since I had a shovel, I decided to dig out a little path to make it easier for me to run ahead of my horse. Then I went back for Valentino. He followed me down into the washout no problem. We stopped at the bottom so I could prepare myself for the run/scramble up the other side. I held him back and got as far ahead as I could. Then I ran for it and he hopped up onto the trail right behind me. They were no big deal. Nothing! They were actually awesome. I love trail challenges that are fun and not dangerous. I am very glad that we squeaked through before the trail crew could do any work. I would not want anyone to say that the only reason we made it through was because a trail crew fixed them.

Well, that put us on the other side of every obstacle between us and Canada and 12 miles from the monument! The next 12 miles were gorgeous! So amazing! After the washouts, we climbed up to Woody Pass. Then we traversed along a ridge for the next 4 miles. This stretch tied, if not beat, Goat Rocks. It was incredible. 7 miles before the monument we dropped down to Hopkins Lake. I tied up Valentino and ran over to get him a bucket of water. The biting flies were horrendous. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Then we just tra la la’ed along for 7 miles to the monument! About a mile and a half from the monument, a bear and cub plopped out onto the trail about 100 feet from us. It was so awesome. The mom stared at me for probably 10 seconds and then they jumped off the other side and were gone. When we arrived, it was about 1pm and the weather was beautiful. What a drastically different ending than last year!

I signed the trail register and we took lots of pictures. Then we hiked 8 miles out to the truck. Whew! What an amazing feeling! I still had 240 of Oregon to complete but getting to the monument was a great accomplishment.

My horse got a few scrapes going over hundreds of trees but has not bled or had one injury on the trail. He held his weight even better this year and looks awesome. I am incredibly proud of him.

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Rainy to Hart’s

It is 30 miles from Rainy Pass to Hart’s Pass. Hart’s Pass is 30 miles from the monument and the last road access before Canada. There are a number of significant washouts about 9 miles north of Rainy Pass. The worst one had actually eroded more and that made it safer. We got through them all no problem and with no digging required. We got to the place that claimed to have water 6 miles before the road at dark. I had brought everything to camp in case the washouts took too long and we couldn’t make it the whole way in one day. I wouldn’t have camped only 6 miles away anyway but I couldn’t find water anywhere so we had no choice but to push on. The last half mile had two large trees that Valentino had to jump. We got to the trailhead at 11pm. We were 30 miles from Canada!

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Final Zero

The next morning I drove down to Geoff’s house and set up Valentino’s corral. I went to the local gear shop in Mazama to get a collapsible shovel. One of the washouts last year was very eroded leading up to it so I was planning to dig it out to make it safer. Then we went to the feed store. This was the same feed store we had gotten the grain shovels from last year that we used to dig out the snow to get my horse through. Katrina was so supportive and helpful. She donated leg wraps and 15 pounds of dry cob to our cause. Thank you so much Twisp Feed!

That evening Gillian called. She had made it through all her side trails and up to the highway by Ross Lake. I was disappointed that she wouldn’t get to see the monument at the Canadian Border but grad school wouldn’t wait. She was heading back to pick up her other horse in Ellensburg and then down to start on the Sierra, which she’d skipped previously. I met her in town to give her some stuff she’d stored in my trailer and I borrowed her collapsible shovel.

Back to Rainy Pass

I couldn’t bring myself to wake up before daylight. I was so exhausted. We had a lot of work to do to pack everything up. I finally got on the trail about 9am. It began to rain as we were preparing to head out. I had my rain jacket on and Valentino’s blanket in a trash bag but no rain pants. I found a piece of black plastic and draped it over my legs. It poured on and off throughout the day. 5 miles north of Stehekin Gillian branched off on a side trail and Valentino and I continued on alone. She was doing an alternate to miss the last 75 miles. I tried to convince her to ride to the northern terminus but she had a deadline with grad school starting and had to head home. About halfway through the day, we happened upon a young black bear. I’d heard from a few southbounders that there was a bear eating berries near the trail. He was unbothered by the hikers and they were able to walk past him. He was only about 5 feet from us and seemed uninterested but I think he assumed we were just another hiker. Then he looked up and saw the horse and took off. It was super cute. A mile and a half from the parking lot last year there was a huge tree across a creek that took us an hour to get around. It had been cut but the people who “cleared” it left the huge log pieces completely blocking everything. There was no way to get around them to cross the creek. We’d had to go way out and around previously because of a second tree but this year that tree had fallen enough that Valentino could jump it. Then we cut behind the huge root base and dropped into the middle of the creek. It wasn’t difficult but it was very frustrating. There were a few trees the last mile but nothing too terrible. I was so excited to walk down that road to the Rainy Pass trailhead. I can’t even describe it. I rode 2600 miles to get back to that spot. I didn’t care that it was pouring and we were soaked and I had no truck. It felt so amazing to make it all the way back there. I was finally going to get to see the last 60 without many feet of snow to contend with.

I beelined into the bathroom and fed my horse a bucket while I got him unloaded. I put his blanket on, took him to get a drink from a trickle of water nearby and tied him to a tree. I piled my stuff in a corner of the bathroom and cut Valentino a pile of grass. Then I made my way out to the highway and started walking. The third car picked me up and took me into town. I had arranged with another hiker from last year who lived nearby, Geoff, to get a ride down to get my truck. He drove me two hours to my truck. I was so, so appreciative not to have to hitch all that way. It was dark when I got back to my horse but he was right where I’d left him. I camped at the trailhead and decided I would zero in town the next day so I could go to the feed store and gear shop.

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Exhausting zero in Stehekin

At 5am, the 12 teenagers that were piled into the two tents decided to pack up their stuff and lay it all out in the shelter. They talked and banged around for a few hours until we had to get up to tend to our horses and catch the 9am bus to town. There was not an inch of space on the ground in the tiny shelter. They had spread stuff over the entire floor and were all sitting around on the ground. We tiptoed around on their stuff getting our things together and putting our wet clothes back on. Then we went down to feed our horses and carry more water up from the river.

930am rolled around and no bus. We heard from the ranger that there had been a massive mudslide and the road was closed. One of the guys who worked at the ranch was driving by so we hitched a ride to the edge of the mudslide. And what a mudslide it was!! Deep, grey, soupy mud. We went cross country through the forest so we didn’t have to wade through the worst of the mud. We still had to cross a bunch of flows but they weren’t deeper than our shoes. It was quite the ordeal but we finally made it to dry road on the other side. We were still about 9.5 miles from town and 4 miles from where the bus was supposed to be running. We trudged along the road (that was currently a 2 inch deep river) with our blistered feet. Cars whizzed past us heading the opposite direction. Eventually, a truck came barreling along headed our way so Gillian and I both stuck out our thumbs and gave our most pathetic look. It was a park service ranger who was running back to drop a worker off. He drove us all the way to the bakery! It was my most appreciated ride yet. While he was driving us, Gillian was able to get some trail condition information about the alternates she would be taking out of Stehekin.

Ah, the bakery! At last! I’d ridden through hell and high water to get to that bakery. We ordered a bazillion things and took them all to a table to feast. The bakery is two miles up the road from town and we found out the next bus was cancelled, so Gillian and I hitched a ride with the tour bus. We went to the store and bought sandals. My feet had never been happier. Then we took showers, washed our clothes, called our parents, and ate at the restaurant. The road was cleared by evening and we were able to take the bus back up to the horses. We fed and watered them and got to bed early.

The Green Mile

Stehekin is a small town in the northern Cascades with no roads to it. The only way to access the town is to hike in or take a ferry or float plane across Lake Chelan. It’s 11 miles from the trail down to the town but there’s a shuttle that runs up and down the valley. There is a large corral by the road where the trail comes out. Last year, the owners of the lodge in town drove a bale of hay up to the corral for my horse and they were going to do the same for me this year.

It’s 104 trail miles from Steven’s Pass to Stehekin. I had originally budgeted 5 days to ride this section, but I lost a day a week ago when we got in late and were forced to take a zero. I wanted to be able to zero in Stehekin and take the shuttle down to the bakery. If I could do the section in 4 days, I’d still have a day to relax in town before riding the last 20 miles to the next road at Rainy Pass. Normally, that would not be a problem, but I was extremely worried about downed trees slowing us down given the trouble in the previous section.

Gillian and I met back up at the horse hotel in Ellensburg. She had filled in her gap in southern Washington and I’d filled in mine. We were both caught up to Steven’s Pass, so we planned to ride to Stehekin together. Ideally, we could have left a rig at Rainy Pass, but it’s an 8 hour drive roundtrip and we didn’t have a day to spare. I found a DOT lot on our way to Steven’s Pass and arranged to leave my rig there for 5 days. That would make it a 2 hour drive from Rainy Pass to pick it up instead of the 4 hours to Ellensburg.

We got up at 4am the morning of August 9th, loaded our horses in Gillian’s rig, dropped my rig in Leavenworth and drove to Steven’s Pass. We were on the trail by about 9am. The first day we covered 29 miles and camped at Lake Sally Ann. There were 15 downed trees but nothing we couldn’t maneuver over or around fairly easily. We got to the lake right at dark but there was hardly any grass and no trees for highlining. We let the horses graze while we unloaded them and made dinner. There weren’t any bugs and we were getting up at 4am the next morning so we decided to cowboy camp to eliminate the hassle of setting up and tearing down a tent. I tied my horse to a baby tree, Gillian tied her horse to a log, and we gave them their buckets and went to sleep.

The next day we covered 27 miles and it was a very long day. We had 51 trees to get around. It was insane but we took each one as it came and worked our way along the trail. If you don’t get overwhelmed by the number of trees one after another, you can see each one as an individual obstacle and create a path around. I have a folding saw but I’ve never actually carried it or needed it. I’ve never come to a tree I couldn’t find and clear a path around. This section is one of the most remote on the entire trail. It didn’t get cleared last year and no one had been out yet this year. Gillian decided she liked using an axe better and was carrying that so I didn’t bring my saw. I fell in love with her ax quick in this section. There were a ridiculous number of difficult trees and it was a much easier way to get rid of limbs so the horses could get over or the trees could be moved. We also had a few sketchy snow patches the second day but were able to pick safe routes through them. We got to our camp at Mica Lake at dark. There was virtually zero grass and nowhere to highline. Gillian and I both tied our horses to rocks and cowboy camped again. I hiked back up the trail and cut some grass for my horse to have overnight and again the next morning. Mica Lake was completely frozen over and it was really cool to see when the sun came up.

We got on the trail a little later the third day. We were so exhausted from all the 4am mornings. We had planned to go 26 miles but that proved to be impossible. We only made it 14 miles by dark and had gone around approximately 52 terrible trees. Our last tree we actually did in the dark. We needed to get a little further to water so we could camp, but this tree was huge and about face height where we couldn’t go under or over. It was also in a really bad spot with a huge tree graveyard as far as I could see with my headlamp in both directions. I tromped around in the woods on either side of the tree but could not see a safe way to get around – even way out and around. There were just so many trees piled on top of each other. It was pitch black dark so we were doing everything by headlamp. Gillian decided to try to pick her way around so she headed off into the madness with Shyla. I tied my horse to a tree. I cannot drag him into a situation where he will undoubtedly get cut. If I can’t walk the route and clear anything dangerous first, I won’t do it. I decided to follow behind Gillian in case she needed help. She made it a ways out but then she got to a point where it seemed impossible. There were so many dead branches and trees and sticks. One wrong step could fatally wound her horse. She left Shyla and hiked ahead a ways. I caught up to her at that point. She went back for Shyla and brought her along, but they were still very far from the trail. They came to a tree Gillian had planned to go over but Shyla sunk in and couldn’t get her feet under her and she clipped Gillian’s ankle with her hoof in the process. Shyla was thrashing around and could not stand so she just lay in the brush while Gillian sat and cried. She knew she’d gotten her horse into a very dangerous situation. It was just as risky to go back as it was to keep going forward. I hiked up and slowly found my way back to the trail. It wasn’t anything I’d ever consider taking my horse through, but I cleared what I could. It wasn’t any worse than what she’d already taken Shyla through, so I thought it might work to get her horse out of the mess. Gillian was able to get Shyla to leap up and turn herself around. They followed me as we made our way up to the trail with Shyla only getting a few cuts through that whole ordeal. But we still had a major dilemma. Obviously, there was no way I could or would take my horse through that nightmare. We went back to re-inspect the original tree. I was prepared to stay up all night and axe through that tree if I had to. First, I took all the gear off my horse. He’s a little guy so I thought there might be a chance that he could squeeze under but that didn’t work. His withers were just a little too tall. This might have been more obvious in the daylight, but there was a curved branch to the right that he could fit under after we removed a nub with Gillian’s axe. There was a tiny flat space after he went under the tree where he could get lined up. The main tree was resting on two logs that made stairs for him to get over. Valentino jumped up on the first log, over the main log, landed on the third log, and then down onto the trail on the other side. Woohoo! I saddled him back up and we went a short ways to the creek. We each found a root to tie our horses to and unloaded them. It was so late, we were exhausted, and both our feet were so raw we could hardly walk. We got the horses watered and fed and laid our pads and sleeping bags in the trail. Neither Gillian nor I could even walk between each other’s pads. We made a quick dinner and passed out.

We woke up at 5am on our 4th day. We had 35 miles to go if we wanted to get to Stehekin that day. After everything we’d been through, we had no idea if that would be possible. The previous days we had talked to several hikers who gave us (what turned out to be) very accurate descriptions and locations of the bad tree sections. We had 22 bad miles but then the last 13 were supposed to be clear. We knew if we could make it through all the trees by dark we could night ride into Stehekin and there was a corral and food waiting for our horses.

We loaded up and headed out for what was likely to be a very long day. We conquered 75 trees that day. Our last tree obstacle was an avalanche area. The first group was fairly simple in comparison to what we’d been doing. I hiked through the mess and found the trail on the other side while Gillian cut nubs off the trees the horses had to step over. The second group was a nightmare. Gillian went first and her horse was able to tromp through and then took a flying leap over the last trees. When Shyla landed, she rammed into Gillian and sent her flying into a tree. I was watching from a distance but they seemed to have made it through okay despite the ending, so I broke my own rule to walk the route first and I seriously regretted it. Valentino followed me through the first part but then we got to the huge blockade of three trees (the ones Shyla had taken a running leap over) and it was very unsafe. All of the trees had broken branches and the sharp nubs were sticking out from every angle. I stopped Valentino to assess the situation. I was so incredibly mad at myself for not checking things out the way I always do. Valentino was nervous and dancing around me with sharp branches all over the ground. I was so worried he was going to get cut. I moved a few branches from in front of us and then Gillian and I moved one of the trees a little bit but they were still too close to jump individually and too far apart to jump together safely. I can’t “go for it” and hope my horse doesn’t get hurt when I see a dangerous obstacle. Gillian was able to bear hug the three trees to bring them close enough that I felt okay asking Valentino to jump them. He made it safely to the other side. It was 9pm and getting dark rapidly but we had successfully overcome all the trees between us and Stehekin and were 13 miles away.

Then the real fun began. It started to pour – the wettest torrential downpour ever. Gillian and I threw on our rain jackets and pushed on down the trail. We had a long way to go. It was also pitch black dark and we were soaked. I could hardly see the trail because of the steam coming off my horse and blurring the tunnel of light from my headlamp. We went through miles and miles of overgrown trail. It was miserable. The first big creek crossing we came to was not obvious. The bridge was out but we could hardly see anything in the dark. We accidently went a short ways down a side trail but ended up turning around and fording the creek right near the bridge. The second creek had a one log hiker bridge and then a trail down to where the stock fords. I asked Gillian if she wanted to go first because there was a drop off to get into the creek and her horse loves water and mine hates it. Shyla decided this was the one creek she would not cross. I tried asking my horse to go first but I was not optimistic. It was so dark so I couldn’t see any bad spots in the creek or the other side. I asked Valentino forward and Gillian tapped him on the butt with her rope and he went, no questions asked. We dropped into the creek; he marched through and out the other side onto the trail. I was so proud of him! We just kept going and going and going in the dark. It seemed endless. At some point, it stopped raining but every wet leaf or branch soaked us with cold water. We FINALLY made it to the road above Stehekin at 230am. I love my horse. He carried me and led the whole way.

We had covered 104 of the most treacherous miles of the entire trail in 4 days. We went through badly eroded sections, very overgrown sections where the trail is about a foot wide with a drop off on one side that you can’t see because of the brush, steep, sketchy snow patches, and hundreds of downed trees. We had cleared countless mountainsides and then scrambled our horses up and down around trees. Our horses had jumped trees on steep slopes from every angle. We had literally moved multiple trees. One tree Gillian and I both climbed up to, put our feet against it and our backs against the rocks and pushed it off the cliff. That made space so our horses could walk around. Another bad tree section looked like pick up sticks. With a couple trees I would dead lift and she would push and we were able to moved them off the trail an inch at a time. We had crawled through spiny brush, hacked through trees, cut tons of branches, heaved and sweated and cleared trail to get our horses through. Our feet were blistered, our arms were scratched up, our hands were blistered and covered in pitch, and we were soaked and cold and hungry and tired. But we had made it to Stehekin and we were incredibly proud of ourselves.

Gillian and I pulled our horses up to the shelter to untack them. There were random items strewn all over: a pair of boots, 4 or 5 pairs of panties hung around, a couple packs, miscellaneous items on the bed, etc. But it was 230am and there was no one around. There were two tents nearby but we never saw a light even though we were making significant noise, so we assumed no one was there. We moved all the stuff and piled it under the bed area. Then we unloaded the horses and took them down to the corral. Our bale of hay was neatly wrapped in a tent fly. Gillian and I had both had boxes of feed sent to Stehekin that were also delivered to the corral and hanging from a tree. We cut them down and fed our horses. Then we used our two highlines to put up a barrier across the corral. Next, we had to carry buckets of water up from the river. I don’t even know how we were still functioning at that point. We got back up to the shelter at 4am, set up out beds and ate dinner. We finally laid down to sleep at 430am. It was so amazing for 30 minutes.

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