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Begins: Jul 25, 2017
Date: Wed, Aug 16th, 2017
Start: Near Rock Pass Mile 2635.37
End: Manning Park Lodge Mile 2658.91
Daily Distance: 23.5
Trip Distance: 316.9
Hours Hiked: 12.25
Entry Visits: 2,170
Journal Visits: 8,600
Guestbook Views: 66
Guestbook Entrys: 12
Pacific Crest Trail Map
(Click image for full size)
Cisco is in the US, Roadrunner is in Canada
As you know, our plan has changed many times, and in an effort not to miss any of the "End of the World" events at my brother's in Bend, we are now set up to reach our final destination in Manning Park, Canada. Set up means we "only" have 23.5 miles to hike. The rough elevation graph shows a climb in the morning over Rock Pass and then Woody Pass, then downhill most of the day, with a 900 foot climb late afternoon, then downhill to the Lodge.
The morning was grand, we had breakfast just below Rock Pass, one of the areas I remembered well from my hike here in 2011. Most of the rest of the trail is a green forested blurr in my memory. I mean just how many switchbacks can you remember, distinctly. Woody Pass was breezy but with great vistas, and marked the last pass we needed to climb. It was easy going from here, but still narrow trail on the side of steep mountains with fine talus for a base. No daydreaming here. But the miles were long.
We passed a dozen Koreans who had hiked to the monument at the border. I was able to diplomatically tell them they could get in big trouble if a ranger caught them flying their drones, and did my best to terrify them with possible punishment, but only one of them seemed to speak English. They were however a jolly group, but I could see the miles were dampening their youthful exuberance. The last three of the Koreans were about to leave the monument, and happily took our photo, and left us in peace. Then the work began.
It's only 8 miles from the border to Manning Park. The American part of the PCT however ends at the border, and the trail takes a marked turn for the worse. What we thought would be a nice gradual climb, then a long downhill grade turned out to be a roller coaster, 5 feet up, 4 feet down, repeat indefinitely, with washouts and overgrown bushes. At least there were still a few berries! We had been pushing the pace for the first 16 miles, and I began to get chilled from the sweat on my shirt. Warning!, energy levels at critical levels! I struggled to complete the final climb, and by the time we finally began the descent, I was traveling at a slugs pace.
I attempted to play my ace, taking out my last poptart, gobbling down every crumb, since it was all crumbs by now, and continuing. The sugar high helped, but I still wondered if I was even capable of 5 miles downhill. Fortunately it really was downhill, for what to me seemed like forever, and after a break and some gummi bears, my fifth ace, I recovered enough the do the final 3/4 mile roadwalk at a respectable pace.
Checked in to the Manning Park Lodge, where they offer PCT hikers a free soft drink and free shower (out of self defense I think), changed from our stinky clothes to our less stinky clothes, and made it to dinner. A few celebratory drinks put smiles on our faces, and convinced me I could hike another 10 miles. In my dreams.
Woke up at 2 AM to see the Greyhound pick up some other hikers bound for Vancouver, and glanced out the window at the stars, the first good look at clear night skies of the hike. All is right in the celestial sphere. ...C&RR