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Begins: Apr 1, 2008
Date: Fri, Aug 22nd, 2008
Start: Spring and a good campsite (mile 2640.5)
End: Manning Park
Daily Distance: 22
Trip Distance: 2,766.0
Entry Visits: 610
Journal Visits: 73,670
Guestbook Views: 3,717
Guestbook Entrys: 9
Spring and a good campsite (mile 2640.5) to Manning Park
It was 39 degrees in the tent this morning and it felt like it, but we were thankful that it was neither raining nor snowing. We didn’t rise until 5:30 a.m.—it’s hard to get up when you are both tired and cold. When we got out of the tent, the clouds were high and white with blue showing through. Kerry was able to take some rare (on this trip) photos of the dawn against the surrounding mountains. Truly, a “Sound of Music” landscape with the jagged peaks around us dusted with snow. When we finally got on the trail we saw three deer run across our path completing the pastoral feeling of the place. Fortunately, Cody didn’t seem to see them. We saw grouse also, but I kept a tight rein on Cody. We hiked on up to Rocky Pass. Half as high as the beloved Sierra Nevada in our own back yard, these wild and cold mountains somehow held more uncertainty, more danger and great beauty—another world. Mist hung low in the valley below. We hiked up to our highest point on this section of the trail on an un-named ridge at 7100 feet. Looking back, we could see the mountains, including Mt. Baker that we missed in the storm. Looking ahead we saw the distant peaks of Canada, it was amazing. This has been our journey for so many years; I’m not sure how I felt about the reality of its end fast approaching. Now our journey took us down and at 2 p.m. we walked into a brief clearing, and there it was—the end of the Pacific Crest Trail and border monument 78, a silver-painted, hollow, heavy obelisk.
It was strange in a way to get there—just another place on the trail. There was a swathe about 30 feet wide, cut through the trees on the border between the US and Canada—the 49th parallel—and it extended as far as the eye could see East and West. I imagined it cutting the land from coast to coast. What a difference between this and our border with Mexico. There would be no furtive night crossings here. The only thing missing was a “Welcome to Canada” sign. We lingered there, for about half an hour, unwilling somehow to let go of the moment. We took photos and signed the register inside Monument 78. I reflected that in the total four and a half months of hiking we had maybe 10 days of rain: our first three leaving Campo and our last three but one approaching Manning Park!
We had another 8.1 miles to go to the road—a lot of it up hill and then a seemingly endless walk down a dirt road to the main road. We started to worry about finding our way to the lodge a couple of miles further, once we found the road. But we shouldn’t have. As we approached the end of the trail, there were Stafford and Nancy coming down the trail toward us. We had told them we would meet them at the lodge because we didn’t know how late we would arrive, but there they were—we were very happy to see them.
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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