It is our first true zero day, but we ended up walking 6 miles anyway. We had a relaxing breakfast in bed and finished reading Still Alice. Clark Kent, Switchfoot and Siren were at the lodge. They are leaving today so we will not see them on the trail again. Don talked to an older gent (80) and his son who were up to do an annual fishing trip. Today.they were off to explore the area in a Jeep. We picked up our permit to hike in the Cascades National Park and were impressed by the beautifully renovated building that was the park headquarters. We headed to the laundry and were able to take showers and do laundry. Once again we managed to beat the rush that came later. Life is good and even more so when everything is clean. The bakery has gotten rave reviews so we took the 11:35 shuttle and headed there. We were not disappointed, the lunch and sweets beat our expectations. It was fun to see the thru hikers load up on the baked goods. In fact, they had many very highly ladened calorie goods that were made mostly for the hikers. They also had a day old shelf of goodies. We selected a few of them and wished that we had gotten more. The blueberry pie was superb. The Dad and son stopped in the bakery and told us that they had come upon an Apple Orchard, part of the Park, that they would highly recommend. The apples were free to pick. That sounded too good to be true as fresh fruit at this point in the hike was highly desirable. So began our walk, a casual walk with very light loads. In about a mile, there was a sign pointing to the Butler Orchard. A park employee was working there and gave us the scoop on the orchard. It had been bought and is maintained by the National Park. The trees surrounded by a fence were just waiting for us to pick a beautiful ripened piece of fruit. We went thru the gate which keeps the bears out, but is low enough for the deer to jump and eat the apples that have fallen on the ground. Not in any hurry today and with the sun shining we ate several variety of apples as well as picked some for the next day's hike. There was no shuttle service for several hours so we retraced our steps and by the time we got back to our tent, we had walked about 6 miles. On the way back we took a tour of the school which currently has 8 students. The teacher who had taught there for 35 years is retiring after this year. A new school was built last year and was quite the upgrade from the older school. The lodge restaurant was open and there was quite a gathering of hikers eating dinner. We joined them and ate meatloaf wrapped in bacon, mash potatoes and green beans. Needless to say we waddled back to the tent. A whole new set of hikers is in the campground, all with the same goal of getting to Canada. Bobcat and Yellowtail are camped next to us. Cobain, Dragonfly and Geisha are also leaving tomorrow.
Mileage 6 non pack miles-stekekin