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JackandBarb - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

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Jack and Barb
City: Encinitas
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Sep 27th, 2011
Start: Mile 2640, cold and wet
End: Mile 2664, Manning Park, BC
Daily Distance: 24
Trip Distance: 2,619.7

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 3,481
Journal Visits: 386,310
Guestbook Views: 167,219
Guestbook Entrys: 482

Last PLB Location

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Pacific Crest Trail Map

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Touchdown! Tequila Jack, 6, Sore Left Foot, 3


At 2:20 pm today, in an off and on drizzle, I reached monument 78, The Canadian border. There were pictures and movies to be taken - I thought I was in some illusionary world - Yes, I walked from Mexico to Canada - Yes, I was tired and weary and, if it wasn't an illusion, I was so glad and grateful to be here.

Although the PCT ends here, one must continue on an additional 8 miles of trail to get to civilization at Manning Park, BC. It seemed like th longest 8 miles I walked on the entire trip.

And then it was completed. No more trail North of me. I walked a road for about a half mile, scrambled up a steep, rocky hill and I was at the Manning Park Resort. It was about 6:30 pm.

There was a register at the main desk. This is what I wrote:

"Tequila Kid - Boo Boo, wish you were here with me (sad face). Sir Edmund Hllary said 'It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.' For me, on the PCT - so true. This 65 year old was determined and persistent and despite the creaky old body, made it to Canada. Yahoo! JnB - Love ya!"

I thought of Barb, of how much I missed her and how I wished we could have both been standing here at Monument 78, with our hands raised. But, she did what she could and I am so proud of her effort. Then I thought about gratitude to all those who helped make this journey a success. Imagine how different and how difficult this trip would have been if:

1) No one ever picked you up hitchhiking - You would have to walk to and from every resupply

2) There were no trail angels - no coolers with beer and apples, no hot dogs and chili for breakfast, no private homes to stay at and regroup along the way. And, none of the small stores holding your packages - you would have to find your way to the post office instead.

3) There were no "hiker specials" or "hiker discounts" - pay full price, just like everyone else.

4) Every blowdown, every dead fall (trees across the trail) that was removed by a volunteer "trail beaver" would still be there. It would be too big of a job for the forest service to handle. You would be climbing over trees for miles and miles of trail. This is a really big one, folks.

Sure, the PCT could be done, but the experience would not be the same. This was a truly rich and rewarding experience for me - not so much of arriving at the destination but the experience of the journey - the sights and sounds and smells of nature, the dry desert, the rich forests, the huge monolithic mountains, the trail - both good and bad.

It was an incredible social experience too - meeting so many fellow hikers and others along the way - and making a few lifelong friends.

Lerning and listing to the stories about the time of others - the bow hunters, the gold prospectors, the hard times that some people were going through - yet they found time to help us.

This five month journey has been the most physically and mentally demanding experience of my life - no question. But not once did I think "I'm over this, I want to go home". I can't say I loved every step of the way but I can say, in retrospect, that every time I was frustrated, lost, cold, tired, hungry, or in pain, it just seemed to make the experience that much more rewarding.

Barb is meeting me in Portland in 3 days. I still have to cross a "t" and dot an "i" on this "trip". For me, it's not quite over - two slackpacks more. One, the Dollar Lake fire detour or back on the trail where I got kicked off. If I didn't complete this section, I know it would bug me forever. And, since we are here, I may go back to Windego Pass and check off the 20 miles of PCT that I detoured when I took the Oregon Skyline Trail to Shelter Cove. This last one would never bug me but I think I am doing it to appease anyone out there that might think my hike is incomplete. Yeah HYOH - sounds like I am hiking someone else's hike huh - pretty funny. We will be in Oregon, we will have a car and I can whip it out in a day.

Then, with time, we will be visiting my brother Joe and his wife Kathy - they were instrumental in helping us when we were near Mt. Hood. Then, it is back to the real world - all my stuff at home - Television, freeways, grocery stores, newspapers, mail, and things to fix.

A number of people have asked me "Jack, what's next after the PCT?" REST, That's what's next REST. I see myself sitting with Barb on the sofa, my feet propped up on the coffee table, a big bowl of popcorn in my lap, and an ice cold Corona beer (with a lime) not far away - watching Chargers football on TV. Yeah, that sounds like fun! We will be going to Australia and New Zealand in 2013 - Duncan and K-Barb are getting married (Movie done! Watch the N. Island video) and we wouldn't miss it for the world. And, maybe a three month bike ride through France or Portugal would be great to do one summer. Oh, so many fun things to do and so little time!

There's still a lot of work to be done with this journal. I have movies to make and embed on previous pages - I want to do a movie on "What's in our packs", plus a lot more tips for those planning a PCT hike. Editor note: All additions and changes have been done. The journal was extensively edited in 2015 to correct most of the dead links.

I look at the statistics in the box above - to me it seems huge, I wonder how the number equates to viewer-ship. (Edited 12/10/11) For you that might also be wondering, our mostly unscientific analysis suggests that about 500 people followed our adventure and some 1,400 people visited the site at least once during our hike. We expect more to find some tidbits of valuable info in these pages when they plan for their thru-hike. (remember Jack's campsite of the week!)...It rates as one of the best campsites of the trip!

Thank you all so much for your support.

Now, I think there's something about a horse and some pyramids (ref page 1). More to come!.. and yes, we checked off the horse/pyramids gig in 2015.

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Journal Photo

Jack And Barb Take On The PCT

Sir Edmund Hillary, first to summit Everest (1953) "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." View our trail images here See our uploaded movies here. contact us at


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