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Begins: Apr 1, 2008
Date: Fri, Aug 22nd, 2003
Start: Glacier Creek
End: MacKenzie Pass
Daily Distance: 10.5
Trip Distance: 244.6
Entry Visits: 462
Journal Visits: 70,178
Guestbook Views: 3,703
Guestbook Entrys: 9
Glacier Creek to MacKenzie Pass
When we awoke in the morning, the smoke was somewhat lighter, visibility had improved and we set out for our final walk. We had planned to end at MacKenzie Pass, from where we had begun last year’s hike with son Dennis and his wife, Phuong. As it turned out, we had to end there, for the PCT north was closed due to the B & B complex of fires, named for two fires (Booth and Bear Butte) that would eventually claim more than 90,000 acres. We wondered which of the through hikers we met had gone through before the trail was closed. We heard that the Forest Service was ferrying people around it but it must have been sad for those who had come so far (from Mexico) to lose even this 100 miles or so of the trail.
As we came down past Middle Sister, up to Collier Crater, across the beds of lava, I thought how incredible the earth is, how quickly it can change from gentle forests to stark and lifeless landscape. There was an area, hiking north of North Sister, where the trees grew stunted in the poor earth. The rocks undoubtedly tossed by the mountain had fallen into a natural Japanese-looking garden, imperfect in its randomness and yet perfect in this imperfection. I thought about human beings trying to imitate this natural art and understood for an instant its futility. I thought, as I would frequently think over our years on the trail, how fortunate I was to be able to walk in this perfect garden and be here in this moment.
Beyond the “garden” we encountered forest again and then lava beds as we wound our final steps down to MacKenzie Pass. There is exhilaration in completing what we set out to do, and yet it is with wistfulness that we made our way up to the road to meet our ride home with Kerry’s sister Tabi.
Confessions Of A Serial Hiker
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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