From Stehekin to Highway 20
Well, I’m still tired, but I guess I may as well see this thing through to the end. Partly cloudy today, cool, with an iffy weather forecast. Could go either way.
Switch and Biscuit stayed in Stehekin yesterday as well, and we all take the shuttle back to the trailhead together. We load up on pastries at the quick bakery stop. Yeah, I know they cost an arm and a leg. Don’t care. Money was invented for the buying of blueberry scones.
We get off to a slow start, then settle into a resigned trudge. The forest is unremarkable, the mountains unnoteworthy. (I may be having an attitude problem today – hard to say…)
J picked up a mushroom guide at the gift shop in Stehekin before we left. We’ve been eyeing it up at every stop since we hit Oregon (way back in our bicycling days!), but J waited to buy it until 5 days before the end. We stop all day to examine fungi, finally picking a couple that we are pretty sure are Shrimp Mushrooms.
It’s not too hard to find the mushrooms, because I’ve only looked at my feet all day.
It’s getting dark when we make it to where the trail comes up to Highway 20 and then runs along it side for what seems like forever. I looove hiking next to highways. We water up at a small stream. We’ve been looking for a camping spot for what seems like a very long time now. I really want to stop hiking. We settle for a tiny clearing up above the trail, in earshot of the highway. No widowmakers, reasonably flat, works for me.
It starts to rain lightly as we set up the tarp, so we duck inside to cook our dinner. J and I discuss eating the Shrimp Mushroom. “Ok,” I say, “the cap is red and sticky, the gills are whitish, the stalk snaps like chalk, no veil, ring, or volva, the stalk has a rosy blush, and it smells like shrimp. Oh, and no deadly look-alikes. Let’s eat it!” Despite being the one who bought the book, J is not so enthusiastic. We compromise on eating just a few bites. If we still feel fine tomorrow, then we can eat a whole one.
We’re almost done eating when we hear Switch walking by. We’re out of sight from the trail but we call to her, and she comes up and camps next to us. I think Biscuit is ahead of us, maybe we’ll see her in the morning.