PNT – Stage 2 – Port Townsend to Ross Lake

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Salmonberry Heaven

Distance:  226 miles approx. (363.6 km)

Time:  8.5 days (7/12/11 – 7/20/11)

Daily Average:  26.6 miles (42.8 km)

Total Distance:  458 miles (736.9 km)

Highlights:

  • Edison Culinary crawl:  Tiny place. I’ve seen bigger towns made of leggo. Nonetheless, in the space of a couple of hundred yards you can find a bakery, deli and a pub. What more could a long distance hiker ask for?
  • Jon Knechtel:  I had the good fortune of catching up with Jon, who is the Director of Trail Management for the Pacific Northwest Trail, whilst passing through the town of Bow. A goldmine of information, Jon had been a big help on the logistical side of my PNT preparations.
  • Bob’s Chowder:  Continuing the culinary theme, this Anacortez eatery makes some of the best chowder I have ever tasted.  Thanks to Li Brannfor’s for the recommendation.
  • Cascades:  Going over the snowbound passes of Austin, Hannegan and Whatcomb in whiteout conditions represented some of the most challenging, but nonetheless exhilarating hiking of the entire PNT.
  • Ross Lake Resort: Wonderful hospitality. A huge thanks to Tom, Carol and Brett.
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Ross Lake

Lowlights:

  • Road Walking:  Way too much. Multiple stretches on Whitby Island and the section between Anacortez and the Chuckanuts come immediately to mind.
  • Swift Creek Blues:  Under the circumstances, one of the most appropriately named watercourses I have ever encountered. I spent the best part of two hours bushwhacking up and down the bank of this “creek” in search of a place to cross. Upon finding a spot where I ascertained the certainty of being washed away to be no more than 50%, I forded the raging creek. More than a tad relieved to reach the other side, I then ploughed through a sea of devil’s club to eventually regain the trail. At this point I decided to sit down and enjoy a well earned Snickers Bar. Alas, Mother Nature had one final surprise. Looking to my left I saw a garter snake. Then another. It wasn’t long before I realized I was smack bang in the middle of a nest of the little buggers. I picked up my weary carcass and tiptoed through at least two dozen more of the harmless creatures, very glad this same scenario was not taking place in my homeland of Australia, where the snakes tend to be a little more on the venomous side of reptilian spectrum.
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Swift Creek


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