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 all that had transpired over the last 26 days and contentment washed over us. I felt so blessed and full of emotion. 

We talked and agreed that it took almost a month for our bodies to say, “Hey! Walking every day, all day, is good.” Right now IF we were hiking on, we would first take a zero rest day and then increase our daily food substantially. But that is for another time. 

After quick laundry, breakfast, hot tub, pool, and showers, we decided to stay a day at the Manning Park Hostel. Tomorrow we take the Greyhound Bus to Vancouver, take in some sights in Van, then fly home. 

Breakfast Chicken is riding to Seattle with Malcolm, a northbound PCT hiker that just finished the whole trail in 4 months. We talked to Malcolm many times over the last few days and enjoyed getting to know him a bit. Best of luck to you Malcolm in upcoming veterinary school. 

Today was spent eating, sleeping, and posting the last 10 days of blog posts. 10 days! It is the longest I have ever been without cell service while on the trail. 

Thank you readers for following along this PCT ongoing journey over the last few summers. You have inspired and pushed me along through the triumphs and struggles, making it a richer and more meaningful accomplishment. 

Also, thank you for taking time out of your day to post comments. It is a BIG deal. I plan on replying on the blog soon when I have regular service. So many of you have posted great questions and suggestions. 

It has been one heck of a great long ride. 

 

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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