Daily mileage: 24
Today I was like a little kid on christmas. I kept waking up and thinking border, border, border! And then making myself go back to sleep because honestly excitement is one thing, hiking at 3 am another. I finally decided I had waited long enough and hit the trail.
I feel like fate helped with last nights camping spot decision. This morning started with a small climb. Cresting the hill, I turned from one side to see the giant moon hanging and fog swirling into a valley while to my other side was fog, mountains and the sunrise. I wish the camera could capture the smell of the air or the feeling of the chill. It was the perfect start to the day, such luck.
The trail descended into the fog and the giant moon (it's full tonight!) and sunrise was gone. Only a quiet mystical landscape of fog and forest. A few miles of rolling trail then a nice descent before heading towards Woody Pass.
Okay question of the day, if on your second to last day of a thruhike you took a break to take your jacket off and while opening your bag you watched your pot (with stove and windscreen in it) fall out of your pack and bounce down at least a hundred feet of rocky mountainside would you climb down and fetch it. I'll admit it, I came very close to just leaving the silly thing but couldn't do it. At least I got the reward of ripe huckleberries a few minutes after starting back up the trail.
Caught up with Kombucha,
Hawkeye, and his parents who are out to hike the last miles from Harts Pass to the border with them. Then it was a split as some of the guys went on the old unmaintained trail across a scree field while the rest of us took the real route which maddeningly switchbacks you down 1000 ft and then right back up to the pass. Still ended up on the other side at basically the same time, then to the top. My very last real climb on the PCT. We even hung out with some border patrol at the top, couldn't help but stop. With that view you had to stop. Side note, never thought we'd see US border patrol out here. I envy this part of their job big time. This is some amazing wilderness we are in.
Everyone was hanging out but with my gimpy foot I headed out a bit sooner than the rest. Besides, only 10 miles to the border!
Caveman caught up with me and for the rest of the day we hiked together, seeing Wrong Way on and off along the way. It was a good way to end, reflecting with friends.
Only 4 miles to go!
The glare is terrible but I wasn't waiting around for a good photo. That right there is the clear cut marking the border. We were so close, those last few switchbacks were killer. Giddy with excitement desperately looking for the monument.
And then we were done. Just like that, Wrong Way, Caveman and I were there. Yelling and jumping, climbing on the monument, and then waiting hours for the others to arrive. Just sitting there in the cold staring at that wood monument in awe, holy Moses I walked from Mexico to Canada!
Pika had been waiting there for us and within an hour Toast arrived. Then it was Cheese and the border patrol guys and finally like true champs right at dark were Hawkeye, Kombucha and Hawkeye's parents (amazing job Doll!).
We heading into Manning Park and a campsite a short distance away, made a campfire and celebrated. I can't believe I did this thing and I'm so happy I got to share the ending with so many friends. What an experience.
Fun side note: didn't count exactly but we are within the top 50 at least (probably closer to 30 but without counting I'm not sure) to finish a complete thruhike this year and I'm within the top 5 women. Not too shabby eh?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone