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Graniteandterrapin - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2010

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Granite & Terrapin Flyer
City: Northampton
State: MA
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 15, 2010
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Mon, Oct 18th, 2010
Start: Seattle, WA
End: Longmeadow, MA
Trip Distance: 2,120.8

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 6,447
Journal Visits: 106,291
Guestbook Views: 2,113
Guestbook Entrys: 81

Gear list Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Real Time Update: happy anniversary

It's time we announced our finish details! Granite and I reached the
Canadian border in the company of Ace & Two Step, Happy Feet, and
Ninjay on Saturday, October 9th at about 1 p.m. It was a grey day but
the rain held off until five of us had reached Manning Park Lodge.
Happy Feet had to hike south from the border because he didn't have a
passport, so he'd figured out a 37 mile hike back to Route 20 via the
PCT and some side trails, and he planned to hitch to Seattle from the
road.

The rest of us were happy to get to the Lodge, and shared a room
there. Erik's Uncle Wayne and Aunt Patty had driven up from Seattle
to bring us home, and we all had Canadian Thanksgiving buffet for
dinner.

We had a wonderful time catching up with Wayne and Patty, and they
were the first off-trail folks (besides Freddie & John who will be
hosting us for a month or so) to learn that we've decided to move to
Seattle. They were thrilled, and their enthusiastic response made us
feel very welcome.

We'd been planning all along to relocate to Vermont after this hike,
but after visiting Seattle from Snoqualmie Pass a couple weeks before
the end, we have decided to move west. John and Freddie planted the
idea by playfully offering to house us if we were tempted to move to
the city. They were serious but I don't think they really thought
we'd take them up on it. What little we saw of Seattle during that
brief visit was very appealing, so when we got back to the Pass we
used the computer at the hotel to look at the job scene. There are at
least five hospitals in Seattle that I'd be interested in working for,
and all had ER positions posted. We looked at grad school options,
and there is a variety of programs for each of us to choose from.
There's rarely snow in Seattle, but the Cascades are 45 minutes from
the city, and they get plenty of snow, so we'll get to ski and
snowshoe on occasion. We can ride our bikes year-round as long as
we're willing to dress for rain, which is great for being a one-car
family (I'm a dedicated bicycle commuter). There's also a bus system
and a light rail, the latter is limited but still expanding. We have
friends and family there, and it is a lot more convenient by air than
Burlington for visiting our friends and family back east. Burlington
does have the 5-hour drive option, but it's not exactly convenient to
western Mass and CT.

We discussed all these things as we hiked north from Snoqualmie Pass,
and our decision to move to Seattle just felt right. We double-
checked about housing with Freddie & John from Stevens Pass in a few
days, but didn't tell anyone else. We didn't want to drop a bomb like
that on family and then disappear into the woods, inaccessible by
phone and unable to discuss the radical change in plans, so we waited.

Our night in Manning Park was a good transition from the trail. We
couldn't use our cell phones for fear of astronomical international
roaming fees, and the Lodge did not have wireless internet. We were
forced to relax and enjoy a last night of freedom from technology
while having a warm bed, four walls, and a roof overhead. We hikers
were all in a daze, constantly reminding ourselves and each other that
it was done - every day would be a zero day... it felt so surreal. We
all thought often about Happy Feet, spending one more night and day in
the rain.

On Sunday Ninjay, Two Step and Ace hopped a bus to Vancouver, and we
rode home with Wayne and Patty. After we'd crossed the border we were
able to turn our phones on and post our finishing on facebook. My
phone rang and it was Happy Feet, who was calling to let us know he'd
made it out of the woods, and had gotten a hitch as far on I-5 as
Arlington, WA. We happened to be right near there so Wayne & Patty
offered to pick him up and bring him to Seattle. He returned to their
house with us and we all had dinner together, talking trail and about
our various future plans.

I spent part of Monday submitting job applications to five different
hospitals online, and began getting calls the next day. I had an
interview on Thursday and a job offer on Friday, which I've accepted.
The job is part time but comes with full benefits, so we're pretty
happy about it. I have a phone interview later this week at another
hospital where I might like per diem hours, and an affiliate of the
hospital that hired me is considering me for per diem work as well.

Aside from the job quest, we've been busy getting to know the city via
errands and visiting. We went shopping for running shoes so we can
stay in shape and begin training for a marathon. We went to Goodwill
to buy clothes that fit and aren't tattered from months of daily wear
on the trail. Happy Feet came with us to stay at John & Freddie's in
their neighborhood, Columbia City. He flew out on Tuesday night while
we had dinner with one of our new neighbors. On Wednesday we returned
to Wayne & Patty's for massages by Carol, a colleague of Patty's.
These were a gift from Erik's parents for our first wedding
anniversary. Later, Ninjay replaced Happy Feet at our new home, and
we had dinner with John at the local pub, followed by ice cream at the
local ice cream shop/vintage arcade.

On Thursday Erik, Ninjay, and I served breakfast at a fundraising
event for Immanual Community Services - Patty is the director of this
non-profit that runs a food bank, recovery program, and hygeine center
for Seattle's homeless. I had my interview on Thursday afternoon and
in the evening we were joined by Ace and Two Step at Freddy & John's
house. We cooked a delicious dinner of kabobs and squash soup, some
of the things we'd been collectively craving on the trail. On Friday
we had a leisurely breakfast and eventually made it downtown to
explore Pike's Place Market. Ninjay, Ace, & Two Step went to
Leavenworth from there to experience Oktoberfest. Erik and I had a
quiet night in Columbia City, and visited our friend, Sarah, in
Wallingford the next day, checking out Ballard with her. We're
starting to look out for a neighborhood to live in. Columbia City is
our favorite so far, but it's a nine mile bike ride to my new job, and
a convoluted commute on train/buses, so I don't think we're likely to
end up there long term.

Yesterday we cleaned the house, and then took the train and buses to
Wayne and Patty's in Sand Point. They hosted a dinner with several
other couples, some of their oldest and dearest friends, who all
happen to be transplants from the East. It was a wonderful gathering
and we felt the embrace of their friendship; many of them describe
this group as their extended family.

This morning Patty brought us to the train station and we took the
light rail to the airport. We've spent much of our three flights (ok,
so it's not exactly convenient for those of us who fly low budget!)
beginning to catch up on the journal, but I realized that we should
post this very important update. We're in Massachusetts until next
Tuesday (for me and our cat, Spider Monkey) and next Wednesday for
Erik. Our tasks for this week include gathering some essentials to
ship or haul back to Seattle, and to visit as many of our friends and
family as we can.

Today is our one-year wedding anniversary and we've been traveling for
eleven hours. I suppose it's not very romantic at first glance but
when you consider how far we've come and how much we have in store,
you might realize that our life together is magical and we are on the
cusp of another great journey. I can't imagine a better companion in
this and every adventure, and I expect this best year of my life to be
followed by more challenges gladly met, and the joy of meeting them
together.

Terrapin/Hilary

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Granite & Terrapin Flyer

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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