July 31 PCT – The Real Finish

“Finish strong” – Breakfast Chicken, hiker PCT Camp to Manning Park – 4.9 miles Town day! Stealthy and I made a quick dash out of camp with tunes a playin’. We had 2 Chocolate Outrage GUs left to celebrate at our ending, the Gibson Road Bridge. The air was crisp, sun a shining, and all things were right. We sat at the bridge basking in … Continue reading July 31 PCT – The Real Finish

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July 30 PCT – Oh Canada

  

“I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”

— Mae West

Glacier Pass to PCT Camp – 23.7 miles

Excitement and emotion filled the air today. It is the day.

Temps heated up early and we made most of the elevation gains and passes by mid-morning. The views and open passes were stellar.

Rainy Pass north to the border is famous for being treacherous in snow for early season southbounders or early snow storms for northbounders in September. I thought of this while crossing very steep ridges. I wouldn’t want to cross this area in snow ever. 

Both Breakfast Chicken and Dan took a dip in Hopkins Lake at lunch. It was pretty incredible, except for the evil biting flies. I do not like them. 

Today Stealthy and I were a bit off, stumbling and low on energy. Both of us are down to much of nothing to eat again. Here it is the last day and our bodies are not cooperating. Stupid. 
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July 29 PCT – Breakfast Chicken and Reflections

  

“Are you going to hike the PCT with Silly Chili? ” Dan asked Breakfast Chicken.

“It’s too far!”  – Hiker Conversation

Glacier Pass to Mile 2631 – 20.88 miles

Trent has a trail name. 

Breakfast Chicken.

You see he is accustomed to eating fresh eggs every morning. His dad suggested he bring a chicken on the PCT. Every morning we have been bugging him about eating fresh eggs and hiking down the trail with a chicken on a leash. Breakfast Chicken has welcomed his new trail name. 

Tomorrow is the day!!!

Canada baby!
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 July 28 PCT – It’s a Ten

  

(Walking) can in the end become an addiction, and that it is then as deadly in its fashion as  heroin or television or the stock exchange. But even in this final stage it remains a delectable madness, very good for sanity, and I recommend it with passion.  –Colin Fletcher, THE COMPLETE WALKER

Rainy Pass to Glacier Pass – 20.6

Well it doesn’t get much better than today with splendid views around every pass, ridge, hill, and saddle. The trail was gentle and well-maintained. 

This day we took our time enjoying and savoring each new gift, taking leisurely breaks, and enjoying each other’s company. Quite pleasant. 
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July 27 PCT – Bee Stings, Blisters, and Skyward Magic

  

“Ya can’t go hiking around with open blisters.” – Rockin’

High Bridge to Rainy Pass – 19.49 miles

Awesome start from Stehekin with breakfast at the resort and bakery, shuttle ride to High Bridge, and a day of hiking uphill. 

Shortly into the day both Trent and Stealthy were bit by a bee. Welts and pain quickly ensued. Lavender essential oil to the rescue. Also, Stealthy and Trent both have blisters, painful ones. 
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July 26 PCT – Buy the Chairs and Reunited Nero in Stehekin 

  

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Suess

Swamp Creek to High Bridge – 8.76 miles

Over the last week, Dan and Trent have packed backpacking gear themselves and made arrangements to drive, fly, shuttle, drive, and hike to meet us in Stehekin. This is quite remarkable.

This is Trent’s first backpacking trip. Dan set him up with lightweight gear from our gear room at home. Dan even made arrangements with Skyward, PCT hiker and friend to shuttle them from Burlington to Rainy Pass. Skyward and her hiking partner, Yellowstone stayed at our home during their 2010 PCT thru-hike. Thank you Skyward!

We did make it to High Bridge for the 9:15 shuttle to Stehekin, but after that things went quickly downhill. 
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July 25 PCT – Transformation

Learn the rules, so you can break them properly. –The Dalai Lama

Vista Creek to Swamp Creek – 28.5 miles

It is interesting to note the change, the transformation that evolves in the hiker’s body, mind, and spiritual state as miles melt away. Somehow the feet anticipate where rocks and roots are naturally. No more fighting the Earth below. Suddenly it feels funny and odd when a backpack is not on the back, like something is missing. Getting ready in the morning and evening falls into routine and happens quickly. Hours can go by and you have no idea what memorable thought you have had, except glimpses and change in landscape, trail, temperature, and elevation. Managing water and food becomes less of a panic. You find you can actually hike without great consequence, 10 waterless miles with very little water. But I think most of all, you find that just when you think you can’t do anymore or stand anymore, something inside takes over and you find that strength to take that next step. It is the very essence of the human spirit
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July 24 PCT – Let it Rain!

  

For you shall go out with joy, be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  — Isaiah 55:12

Pumice Creek to Vista Creek – 19.4 miles 

Elevation gain and loss: 6,391 feet gain and 7,722 feet loss

We were mentally prepared for a challenging day given the extreme up, down, up, and down elevation numbers. 

It started out a blue bird day, but quickly deteriorated into constant rain. This was actually a huge blessing,  because I was concerned about the possible heat making the climbs very unpleasant. 

This all sounds great until you take into consideration that the trail through Glacier Peak Wilderness needs trail maintenance big time.
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July 23 PCT – Keeping Pace in Glacier Peak Wilderness Photo Day

  

As we passed on, it seemed those scenes of visionary enchantment would never have an end. –from the journal of Meriwether Lewis

Sally Ann Lake to Pumice Creek (Glacier Peak Wilderness) – 22 miles

Fun and splendid beauty photo day! Enjoy.
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