|The Canadians continued to call the trail the PCT,|
but the Canadian portion isn't officially recognized
as official PCT by any organization except the
Canadians, so far as I can tell! =)
All of the literature about the PCT has the trail ending right at the Canadian border. Even Erik the Black's maps aren't very useful beyond that point, which seems criminal since almost everyone continues on to Manning Park--the closest trailhead to the end of the trail. Those Canadians were kind enough to post a map of their side of the border at the border, however, and I took a photo of it as I passed. I also made sure it wasn't so blurry that I couldn't read it! These last eight miles or so, I was better prepared than I had been since almost the entire distance since I left Stehekin.
The rest of the miles flew by quickly. I took no breaks, except to check the map on my digital camera to track my progress and direction. For the most part, even that wasn't necessary. The trail junctions had good signage, and the distance flew by now that I was working in kilometers rather than miles. =) There's something nice about kilometers that I just really liked. I noticed little red tags attached to the trees marking each kilometer as they counted down to zero.
Near the end of the trail, the sun started peaking out. A beautiful day! But I didn't care about that anymore. I just wanted to finish. Get off the trail.
The trail finally dumped me out at a road near a bridge with a single car in the parking lot. It wasn't Amanda. Hmm.... I wasn't sure what to do at this point. I thought the trail was going to dump me out at the Manning Park Lodge, but I didn't see any buildings at all nearby. I wondered if I took a wrong turn somewhere. Which direction along the road is the lodge? That's where Amanda and I had planned to meet.
|Trail junctions were well marked in Canada.|
Thanks, Canada! =)
After examining all of the facts I had available--including the map I took a picture of--I made an educated guess and started walking along the road to the right. Eastward. It didn't take more than a few minutes before I saw a building and I was certain I had chosen wisely.
A few cars drove by, and the sun was shining bright. I wondered if the people in the cars had any idea that this homeless-looking fellow walking along the side of the road had walked in all the way from Mexico. What an adventure! I hoped Amanda would drive by looking for me and end my hike right then and there, but it was never Amanda driving. Drats.
I finally reached the lodge, and rather than walking around to the driveway, I scaled directly up a steep hillside instead, and saw Amanda's car in the parking lot. Yes! She was there already! When I got closer, I realized she was still in the car, sleeping in the driver's seat. I knocked on the window, startling her.
"Think you can give a ride to a poor, dirty hiker?" I asked. =) Of course she could!
I threw my pack in back, and Amanda whipped out her camera to get pictures of my big finish. It seemed rather anti-climatic at this point, though. I had already finished the trail the day before! I took off my shoes and settled into the front seat. Hui and Colter were out on the front porch of the lodge and yelled hello, and I yelled back, "Whoo-who!!!! We did it!" Yes, indeed, we had. Our hike was over.
|I try to take a photo of myself hiking out. And to|
think, I was bald and clean-shaven when I started
Amanda made a couple of stops to find letterboxes along the way, and I stayed in the car not wanting to walk two feet for even a drive-by letterbox. At that moment, I felt like I didn't want to ever walk again. I knew that feeling would go away eventually, but I basked in the glory of sitting. =)
I did get out at the entrance for Manning Park--Amanda wanted to get a photo of me with the entrance sign.
At the US border (now that I was actually in Canada, I thought of the border as the US border rather than the Canadian border), we handed over the paperwork the Canadians had sent me approving my arrival into the country on foot via the PCT. I wondered if the fact that I walked into the country at an unmanned entry point would cause issues at the border, but it didn't. The border agent asked a few questions and waved us through.
We arrived back in Seattle during the evening rush hour. I took a photo of me stepping into our little apartment. The last step. I was finally home, and this time, I didn't have to leave. =)
5,259,276 Steps (estimated)
In Canada, the trail is marked in kilometers.
I like kilometers--I can hike them faster than miles! =)
750,336 Calories burned (estimated)
75,142 Hits on this blog
13,225 M&Ms consumed (estimated)
4,833 Photos taken (by me!)
4,274 Kilometers covered
2,656 Miles covered
1,322 Bad jokes (estimated)
1,321 Good jokes (estimated)
1,224 Hits on most popular blog entry
488 Pounds of food consumed (estimated)
300 Days of blog posts (every other day)
162 Gallons of water sweated (estimated)
152 Days on the trail
109 Days of camping
35 Days of hotel/motel/hostel camping
34 Snake sightings
29 Pounds lost
12 Days of hiking in rain
12 Days of Ibuprofen
10 Zero days
10 Apples ripped in half
8 Pairs of shoes
7 Days camping in homes
3 Bears sighted
1 Naked hiker
1 Pacific Crest Trail
|Glad they didn't put this sign up at the border. Might have caused|
me some concern if they had! =)
|Searching for the lodge at Manning Park.|
|NOW they tell me! *rolling eyes*|
|Made it to the Manning Park Lodge and found Amanda.|
Wow, I look skeletal!
|I managed to get out of the car long enough to hobble over to this sign for|
a goodbye photo.
|Home, at last..... =)|