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Pacific Crest Trail... photos and journal

Summer of 2001...Washington...

(Page 6 of 6 pages)

Cutthroat Pass

From my journal (August 10, Day-107)..."Just after dark when I was almost asleep last night the ranger walked up and told us that we were camped in the wrong place, so we had to move everything a hundred yards away to the "real" overflow campground. It was such a hot night that I slept only in my silk liner. I was up and down by the dock early, then Ethan and his girlfriend showed up just before 7:00 am and as the shuttle van showed up at the dock. We were both torn between staying for the breakfast buffet as we watched them prepare through the restaurants windows, but we both changed our minds when the driver said that he'd stop at the bakery where we had hot coffee and cinnamon rolls. We were finally dropped off at the trailhead and it was back to work. But this time I was so much more excited knowing that Canada was my next stop... a moment that was so long in coming! It was also such a hot day that dehydrated me quickly. Somewhere I got derailed onto the old pre-90's PCT for over two miles, but it finally hooked up correctly just before Rainey Pass where a very nice family gave me an apple and some fresh grapes which I relished with great vigor! I hiked on beyond Methow Pass and am stealth camped somewhere near Willis Camp, down in the valley where a lone wandering deer kept waking me up throughout the night. "

This is a fearless and pesky deer that kept me awake all during the night, just prowling around me while I tried to sleep so at about 2:00 am I shot it with my camera!!!!????

From my journal (August 11, Day-108)..."Once again I hiked just to dark at about 9:00 pm stopping on a lone flat spot just below the trail on a switchback up to Woody Pass and I am so tired, but I'm also caught up with the reality of my last full day on the trail and I'm glad that the weather let me spend my last night on the ground under the stars without setting up my tarp! Being Saturday I passed and was stopped by so many day hiker's who when they found out that I was thru-hiking made me feel really proud and special. They gave me food, asked a lot of questions, and I've posed for so many photos. It took some extra time but I just couldn't walk away from sharing my experience with so many wonderful people. After climbing up from Glacier Pass the walking became much more of a contoured traverse along the crest from one pass to the next, making for a really nice walk. It was a beautiful day and a lot of thoughts sure raced through my head. "

This is the highest point on the PCT in Washington... an unnamed peak at 7,126 feet.

This is Hopkins Lake as seen from 1,000 feet above while descending the highest peak on the PCT in Washington.

Just a friendly bird walking down the trail???? Good thing I wasn't hungry!!!!

From my journal (August 12, Day-109)..."I took my time this morning in my neat little camping spot on the mountainside just below Woody Pass, while watching the sunrise, eating a nice breakfast, and slowly packing my gear for the last time. And thus I wanted to savor each moment as much as possible. Shortly I was up and over Woody Pass for a nice exposed walk on the crest over to just one last switchback up to an unnamed summit on Lakeview Ridge, which at 7,126 feet was the highest point on the PCT in Washington. Nice views abounded here of the 360 degree panoramic landscape of the surrounding mountains, some of which most surely were part of Canada. Although I was careful to maintain my awareness of the moment and my surroundings, I also made my descent with an excitement of the border that I would soon approach. I continued to recieve several congradulations from dayhiker's and other backpackers, all of which I took time to share my excitement and accomplishment.

Over Castle Pass I continued my descent until on a switchback I first saw the long mowed line up the mountainside which marked the US/Canada border! A little further down and just around the corner I saw and approached Monument 78, touching first the northern terminus marker while also recalling that cool April 26th morning 109 days ago when I had first touched the southern terminus near Campo, then began walking. A connection was finally made at about 10:58 am this morning! I spent about thirty minutes here completely alone and quietly recalling all the obstacles that I'd overcome to get here... all the hundreds of people I'd met and shared my experience with along the way... all the places I'd seen. As I wrote in the register (kept inside the monument) I knew that the answer to the purpose of my journey could not be addressed in a simple way. The experience would take a life time to process and would most certainly affect the direction of my life in ways that I'd never know. I concluded by saying that in the end (of our lives) all we really have to value and to measure the quality of a life lived are our actual experiences and our memories... and I wouldn't trade those for all the gold in the world!

Another eight miles and I have arrieved at Manning Park and get a room to rest for the night. As I also wrote in the register, I feel that sometimes we place too much emphasis on endings when actually this is the time for new beginnings in our lives. Somehow I just know that when I leave Manning Park tomorrow, that I won't quite be the same person that I was 109 days ago. I'm going to miss the trail deeply, but because of what I've done I know that I will love and cherish each moment of my life beyond the trail now more than ever before! Nothing is more important than seizing the essence of each moment in every day and then finding your own unique way of sharing this energy and hope for the future with other people... especially the young and the elderly. The sun will most certainly rise again tomorrow morning, even if the sky is overcast with shades of gray! "

Monument 78 at the U.S./Canadian border!!!

After 109 days I have finally made connection with the northern terminus of the PCT as I give it a well deserved hug!

And then I had to hug Monument 78, the offical marker of the U.S./Canadian border!

A close-up of Monument 78, a result of the Treaty of 1846 between the U.S. and Canada and surveyed between 1903 and 1907.

The welcome to Canada sign.

Manning Park, Canada!!!

This is Manning Park Resort, about 8 more miles into Canada and where I spent a very relaxing first night off the trail.

...then catching the Greyhound bus to Seattle the next morning and the begining of my re-entry back into the "unreal" world. What a summer!!!!

The End

Thanks for letting me share my thru-hike experience with you and I hope that your own dreams become reality, even if it has nothing to do with hiking.