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Brian "Gadget" Lewis
Begins: Apr 27, 2008
Date: Sat, Oct 4th, 2008
Start: Est 23 road miles from Belden
End: Highway 36 PCT crossing, then into Chester
Daily Distance: 23
Trip Distance: 2,631.4
Entry Visits: 1,699
Journal Visits: 149,750
Guestbook Views: 84,070
Guestbook Entrys: 155
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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My Monument ---- Finished at highway 36 trailhead
The rain finally let up around 4 am or so, but continued dripping (from trees) and drizzling (from sky), but I was able to pack up without significant rain falling on me. About a mile walk to highway 89, and there I was fortunate in that someone in the online community had responded to my question a while ago about this road walk --- my gratitude to whoever it was because they listed a logging road that paralleled highway 89. Much, much nicer to walk logging road than to walk along busy highway. A lot more pleasant, not to mention safer.
Unfortunately, I still had some busy highway to walk along after that: highway 36. Something like 5 miles west on it to get to "final finish",i.e. the point at which I had hitch-hiked to in July. Then another 8 miles (five of which were backtracking miles) to get in to the town of Chester. That last doesn't count for the trip, but had to be done. I've just never liked hitch hiking, and so didn't try, nor did anyone stop to see if a sometimes poncho-clad hiker in the rain cared for a ride anywhere (poor me !). I compensated by sneering mentally at the weaklings zooming about in their automobiles, while I, the manly thru-hiker with the gleam in his eye and outthrust chin was virtuously walking in to town. That attitude will change, of course, the second I have access to a car again.
That will actually be pretty soon. Goodstart is already a good ways south of our home, due to the family tragedy I mentioned in a prior entry. She's going to drive down and pick me up tomorrow, so my way home will be a lot easier than I had feared.
Again, I suppose I should have a lot of emotions about finishing, and indeed I'm pleased to --- as Joe described it --- "not have an asterisk". Meaning that I can now say that I walked from Mexico to Canada on the PCT in 2008 without having to then go on to give a raft of caveats. Caveats still exist, of course --- I suspect that no one walks a long trail without some caveats. Mine include a couple of fire walk-arounds (including the one that I finished today).
Maybe it will sink in later and I'll have some sort of reaction from finishing. For now the combination of happiness at being in a motel after all the rain, and the family tragedy (that I should really stop mentioning given that I'm withholding details) --- these are uppermost for now.
I won't be posting new entries for a while, but I still do plan to aggregate some statistics and afterthoughts and thank-you's, etc. Sometime after I've gotten back home and settled in !
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