WA PCT 2015

October 1, 2015

We awoke early to a chilly morning. This most likely is going to be the day we see the PCT monument. A series of ups and downs again finds us passing through beautiful terrain, The weather cooperates and when dawn turns to morning, the skies are blue. We have had cold mornings and rainy days, but no snow has fallen during this month. Some of the hikers that had been thru this area earlier had hiked in a snowstorm. Several hikers going south after having reached the border but not going into Canada pass us and we give them much deserved congratulations. It was fun to see a sign pointing to the US border. One cannot start the hike in Canada, but one can finish the hike in Canada as long as you have gotten the permit ahead of time. The last eight miles of hiking to the border is a gentle down hill. We move at a steady pace. We notice a swath in the tress that has been cut out and wonder if that designates the border. Then there it is, the monument marking the end of the PCT. Whatever (his trail name) is there waiting for Topper. We look thru the ledger and read off the names of the people we have met. Many have left comments. It is a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that our lives intertwined with some of them this month.  We take the obligatory photo, and place the ledger back after adding our names to the list. We also eat our celebratory piece of chocolate. Some hikers bring champagne but our chocolate is good enough for us. Now we have a decision to make. It is 4 o'clock and it is an eight mile hike to the road. We have just hiked 22 so that would put us at 30. We think we can do it and head past the Welcome to Canada sign which now gives us the distance in kilometers. The trail is not as well maintained and our pace slows.  We question if we have made the right decision, but we are committed to get to the road. We keep thinking that the parking lot should be close. The trail becomes a steep abandoned logging road. It is beginning to get dark. Finally, we see the word Hooray made out of rocks on the ground. A nearby sign points to the trailhead. By this time our feet have gotten sore and we are hoping the end is near. However, the trail keeps going and we need to get out our headlamps. After reaching the road, we ask the driver in a passing car the way to the lodge at Manning Park. He says it is less than a mile. It is now quite dark and a sign warns of us bear in the area. Fortunately we see the lights of the lodge and soon are registering for a room. Tired and dirty we soak in the bathtub and eat a well deserved ice cream bar. 

Mileage hiked 30-Manning Park Lodge