We had no idea what the day would turn into when Anthony, our trail angel and host for the night, picked us up just after 3pm. We knew we were going to Skykomish and would be staying the night in a trailer, but that’s pretty much it. The evening ended up being so much more than that, so much more.
On Angel Wings
What image pops in your head when you hear the words, “trail angel”? The community is so diverse that there is no single race, sex, walk of life, or personality that comes to mind for me anymore. Anthony is a Skykomish-loving, ourdoors guide, and entrepreneur who is fueled by caffeine and moves 100 miles an hour. This guy is amazing. In the same breath, he mentions “taking a day off to relax” he often follows it up with, “after I pick up and drop off some hikers.”
Our contact with Anthony started one night with a text from our Garmin Inreach (we had zero cell service) to see if we could get a ride into Skykomish from Stevens Pass and stay at his place for a night. He responded the next morning with a quick yes and all of the wonderful details.
- Charging Outlets
- Bed (bonus to trinity)
We didn’t even ask any follow-up questions. The only thing to say when the holy trinity of hiker needs is being offered is, “yes, please.”
Anthony picked us and 3 other hikers up from Stevens Lodge and charioted us west to Skykomish. He would have picked us up sooner than 3pm, but he was leading an ATV trip for a youth group of future leaders.
In addition to his day job and train angel hobby, Anthony also recently opened an outdoor outfitter shop in Skykomish. As of 2020, Skykomish only had 127 full-time residents. His business and all of the other surrounding small businesses rely on outdoor sports and highway 2 traffic to succeed. The outfitter shop is not staffed all day every day, calling ahead for specific gear needs and timeframes is a must.
Trucking hikers into town is no short-term win for the outfitter shop, he probably wouldn’t make back enough to cover the cost of gas between Skykomish and Stevens Pass. No, I believe the real long-term goal is to show as many hikers as possible that Skykomish is a great place to spend a day for those not looking for the big city life Leavenworth has to offer. It worked on Brianna and I, we love this little town.
The Lovely Skykomish
Anthony dropped all of us hikers off in the middle of town for 2 hours before heading to our home for the night, and again for another 2 hours before heading out the next morning.
Our bartender at the Whistling Post Inn didn’t care that we smelled like hikers 6 days without a shower, she smiled and treated us like normal human beings. Hot food takes a little while to prepare, as the pub has only 1 deep frier, but the cold beer and good conversations helped to hold us over.
The barista from the Sky River coffee house greeted us outside the door before making us some amazing danishes and mochas. She also had epic body art to compliment her swirling snake earrings. One of the locals, an older gentleman, even offered us a ride back to Stevens Pass and asked us questions about the hike while we waited for our drinks to be made.
We packed out some bomb salmi sandwiches from the Louskis Deli. It took about 20 minutes for them to prepare our food, and in that time, we saw about a dozen hikers catch easy hitches on highway 2 back out of town. The deli even has a sign for hikers to use for hitches.
I loved Anthony and his Skykomish Outfitter so much that I paid $30 for a new camo hat to replace my much-loved military cap.
There is even a laundry mat called the ‘Sit and Spin Laundromat’. We did not go there, but I had to mention the name…
Every business in Skykomish has hiker food or something catering specifically to our world. It would be possible to do a full resupply here without sending a package, though I’d guess it wouldn’t be the cheapest option.
A Good Night’s Sleep
This post is getting long, so I’ll summarize the end of our night by saying that they let Brianna and I use their showers and laundry with open arms. Anthony’s partner, Mike, treated us like family, just the same as Anthony did. They gave us space to relax by ourselves and brought their Corgi dog, Boomer, around to play while they chatted with us every now and again.
If you’re not a big city person and unsure about Skykomish, don’t be. They love hikers and you will fall in love with the town, same as we did.
Thank you, Anthony & Mike!