September 7, Day 139 – Canada!

Today’s the big day and the energy was in the air this morning. We were out of camp before 8. The five of us stuck together most of the day. We went swimming in Hopkins Lake on our way to the terminus. It was cold but super refreshing. And it’s the last Lake on the PCT so we had to go for a swim. We got to Canada just before noon and all cheered a lot. There were a few other people there when we got there but they left soon after and the 5 of us had it to ourselves for the rest of the time. We spent over an hour there taking pictures and sharing food and drinks. It was all smiles and laughter. We eventually had to head back though. We had 30 miles to do to get back to Harts Pass but only half of that today. Approach, Wiesel Dick and I stuck together for 11 miles until we got back to our camp. We had left Approach’s tent set up with most of our stuff so we could have lighter backpacks for the day. I grabbed my stuff and headed out to cover the last few miles solo. We were all together in camp around 7 and saw a few others we had known who were on their way to the terminus. We saw OB, Colonel Sanders, Microbe, Dijon and Tigger. We then all sat down and had dinner together and tried to eat as much food as possible since we only have 15 miles to go tomorrow to get to the road. We finished our night with Nighty Nights again. I’m really sad this hike is ending but I don’t think reality has set in. I’m still happy for the most part but I’m sure I’ll be sad it’s over soon. We saw a big shooting star tonight too. The weather is perfect for star gazing again tonight. Approach and I also watched the last 2 episodes of “You”. I’m going to miss all of this. Sleeping outside under the stars with good friends is a privilege.

I have a lot more I’d love to write here about everything this hike meant to me but it’s really tough to put into words. This has been the best 139 days of my life. I don’t know how to explain how amazing a long distance thru hike is but it was more than I could have ever imagined. This definitely won’t be my last one. I’m already thinking about next summer.

Miles: 11 Total Miles: 2653.6

Approach, myself and Wiesel Dick at the terminus. We got matching pants and all had colorful shirts so it made for a pretty ridiculous terminus photo.

September 6, Day 138 – High fives for everyone

We took our time getting out of camp and left around 8. Approach, Draggin’, Wiesel Dick and I walked together until we got to Harts Pass around 10. This would be the last road we would cross before Canada and would be where Approach’s parents will pick us up in 2 days. Koviet also caught up to us here and we all hiked together until seeing Atlas and Beekeeper. We all chatted for a bit and congratulated them. They were on their way back from the border. We then all kind of split up for a bit. Koviet and Draggin and I chilled for a bit on a hill with a good view but I wouldn’t hike with anyone else the rest of the day. I saw them at water sources a couple times but I spent most of my day listening to all of the music I had saved over the course of the hike. I’d been saving songs that were meaningful to me along the way and took a trip down memory lane. Everyone was giving each other high fives today. There were a lot of hikers coming back south from reaching the border. Everyone was so happy and excited for each other, even if we had never met before. I got to camp at the top of Woody Pass to find Approach and Wiesel Dick with a spot already picked out for us. We all set up our cowboy camping arrangements then went to the west side of the pass to chill in the sun and hang out for a bit. As we were there, Rambo and Surefoot showed up. They had reached the border that morning and had big smiles! We all celebrated together for a bit before they headed 4 more miles south to set up for an easier day tomorrow. Approach, Draggin’, Koviet, Wiesel Dick and I all ate dinner together and laughed a lot. We then watched Pineapple Express until 9:30 and did Nighty Nights afterwards. We also got really lucky with the weather tonight. It’s a new moon and there’s not a cloud in the sky so the stars are some of the best we have seen all trail. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my last night on trail before Canada. We have 11 miles to do to get to the border in the morning. I can’t wait. We could also see Jupiter shining really bright and I saw 3 shooting stars.

Miles: 25.3 Total Miles: 2642.6

The crew at Woody Pass, 11 trail miles south of Canada.

September 5, Day 137 – I’m in love with thru hiking

We woke up at Denny and Lorry’s cabin and the first thing I did was take a piss in front of a trail cam. Denny had trail cams set up around the cabin so he could see what animals were coming around. Approach also made the same mistake as me but didn’t see the trail cam. As soon as I saw it I panicked and walked inside to the toilet. Once everyone else was awake we made coffee and waffles and bacon and eggs and had breakfast together. While we were eating, I spotted my first bear of the whole trail. It was walking across the hillside outside their cabin. We took our time relaxing before heading back to trail around 9. When we got back to trail we took pictures with them and hung out with Sam’s grandparents for a bit. They were doing trail magic and we had also seen them just north of crater lake. We then climbed 2000′ up to a ridge where we saw a mountain goat and were greeted with spectacular views that would continue all day. We saw Rambo’s parents just before we reached Methow Pass. They are out hiking from Rainy Pass to Harts Pass and back. We then took a nice lunch break at the top of the pass. The next stretch of trail took us down into some old growth forest and flat trail for a few miles. We took our next break at Brush Creek before ascending 2500′ up above Glacier Pass. When we reached the top of the climb we saw one of the best views we had seen all trail. We are pretty sure we saw Canada today. It was a special moment that made us realize how soon this will be over. It hit me pretty hard. We took a nice break as the sun set behind the mountains to our west and then continued 1.4 miles to our campsite for the night. We all lined up and cowboy camped together and watched a movie while eating dinner. After the movie we did Nighty Nights. This is where we talk about the good and bad parts of our day, our hero of the day, our goal for tomorrow and we say nice things about the person next to us. It’s a great way for us to think about the details of our day and show appreciation. We didn’t have many bad things so it was really positive tonight. The sky is partly cloudy tonight so the stars come and go but when they are out it’s beautiful.

I’m in love with thru hiking and don’t want this hike to end. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a summer. I’ve made so many friends and memories out here that will stay with me the rest of my life. I hope to do this again next year on another trail. This summer was the best experience of my life.

Miles: 25.2 Total Miles: 2617.3

We were pretty happy. Can’t you tell?

September 4, Day 136 – Everything always works out

Stehekin has been a great town stop for us. The best part of it was the bakery and we were making one more stop there on the way out of town. About 30 hikers were on the 8:00 bus out of town and we all got off for the bakery stop. I had some quiche and a yogurt parfait since I already had a cinnamon roll packed away for later. We were on trail by 9 and Draggin’, Wiesel Dick and I hiked together all day. We took a break about every 5 miles and hiked slow knowing we were only doing 19 miles. We got to Rainy Pass trailhead just before 5, our planned camping spot for the night. Rambo had said I should look for her parents car so we could go into town easy but I was unable to find it. I think Rainy Pass trailhead is the biggest one I have ever seen. We ended up hitching into Winthrop to get Mexican food and buy celebratory drinks for when we reach the terminus. After drinking a giant margarita, Approach wanted a few shots so we headed next door to the saloon. While I was filming them taking the shots, a guy offered to take pictures but I wasn’t drinking so we didn’t need him to. After drinking and buying some champagne for the road, we sat outside the general store while Wiesel Dick and I got milkshakes. Approach said hi to the couple that we had seen in the bar and they offered us a ride to the trailhead. As we were loading up in their truck, they offered us the option to spend the night in their cabin down the road. How could we say no? Approach, Draggin’, Wiesel Dick and I got to go to a beautiful cabin in the woods where we were greeted by a friendly chocolate lab dog named Baker. We stayed up late telling stories from the trail and having a great time. They had a shot ski that we got out to use too. This was hands down the best random trail magic we had gotten all trail and we were only 3 days from being done.

Miles: 19.2 Total Miles: 2592.1

Shot ski at the cabin.

September 3, Day 135 – Wiesel Dick’s Birthday!

I spent the entire day eating way too much food. I went to the bakery twice, got to see Rambo and Surefoot, ate a lot of carrot cake and had some pretty good clam chowder. Approach and Wiesel Dick returned from Chelan around 4 and we celebrated his birthday with lots of baked goods. Draggin’ bought us all dinner that night too. We got really lucky and got to eat at the only restaurant in town the last night they would be open for the season. If we had gotten there a day later we would have missed out on the amazing food there and been stuck eating our hiker food or cinnamon rolls from the bakery. We went for a swim in the lake, did laundry and took showers and got ready for the last stretch of trail. When we walk out of Stehekin tomorrow morning, we will be 80.4 miles from Canada.

Miles: 0 Total Miles: 2572.9

I seemed to have once again not taken many pictures but here are the pastries I got at the bakery. The cinnamon rolls from Stehekin Pastry Company are probably the single most talked about food item on trail.