DAY 11

We got up early to hit the showers and the laundromat, where we met a retired police officer and his wife from CA. They were kind enough to run Bryan and me around town to pick up some groceries and make some reservations at the USFS station. We fueled up and performed some minor maintenance on the engine and scooted out of town.

We headed up the Stikine River to a USFS cabin in Shakes Slough, about 15 miles up from the river delta. We found it without much difficulty and offloaded our stuff. The minute we landed though, we were swarmed by mosquitoes; boy were they a pain! We then struck out for the hot springs which were a short hover away up the next slough.

We beached the Explorer and hiked 1/2 mile to a covered bathhouse. The cedar hot tub was fed by both a 150 degree F hot spring and by frigid snowmelt. We could regulate the temperature by directing flow from one outlet or another in varying quantities. We soaked 'till twilight around 2215 and decided to head back while we still had light.

On the way back, we couldn't get a GPS satellite lock-on and were navigating by memory. We had been plagued with occasional random outages on both our Garmin GPS 38s, but this time they BOTH decided to go on the fritz simultaneously! I had to break out the spotlight to mark the many snags that populated the slough and the river. I finally got the backup GPS operational and manually entered the cabin waypoint. Bryan piloted us back to mosquitoville while I gave him directions. We got back O.K. and fired up the oil stove to help dry things out. That little stove kept us comfortably toasty all night!