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Conor "Happy Hour" Felletter
Country: United States
Begins: Apr 27, 2013
Date: Sun, Sep 15th, 2013
Start: Snoqulime Pass
End: Manning Park
Daily Distance: 270
Trip Distance: 2,516.5
Entry Visits: 2,430
Journal Visits: 16,080
Guestbook Views: 344
Guestbook Entrys: 7
Gear list Journal Plan
Pacific Crest Trail Map
The Mtn Mostel (mostly hostel) turned out to be so cool that we decided to zero there. We had a great second night eating pizza and playing Spades with other hikers.
Ever since I sat on my sunglasses the second time I've been in search of a replacement. First there was the Safeway sunglasses but they ended up being lady glasses and hurt my head. Next I found hunter/terminator shades in a hiker box but in a few weeks the polarization on the lenses was so scratched I could only see splotches. At Stevens Pass I thought I had found the Silver Bullet: black lightweight sunglasses that fit well, no scratches. But later when I wore then for a while I noticed my vision was dream like for a while after I took them off. On further inspection when I put them on a similar effect occurred. Yep Squeaks confirmed it, they were prescription.
The last two sections have been phenomenally pretty. First there was the mountainous beauty of the Kendall Catwalk and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness followed by the alpine splendor of Glacier Peak. The high mountain views of Glacier are more spectacular than those of the High Sierra IMHO. There is certainly just as much climbing. One day we hiked from 6am to 9pm, pre- dawn to dark, climbing three major passes in 29mi. We estimate that these hard days we have a combined break time of less than an hour for our days that start at 5:30 and don't end till 7:30-9.
At some point we became obsessed with the idea of making the 9am bus into town. The linch pin in this plan involved taking the Old PCT route over a major river. A new bridge had been constructed and the old route and its sketchy log crossing had been abandoned, but it could save use 5 miles of hiking. The route involved a ford, lots of overgrown trail ripe with downed trees and the log crossing. When we saw it we didn't believe it. This double log crossing with the second log going up at a 20deg angle (steep!) didn't seem do able. But after looking for better options and finding none I got out there. It wasn't as bad as I had thought but near the middle, unable to avoid looking down at the white water below, I actually wonder if I should have said a prayer before. Squeak really reverted to Catholicism on her crossing, endlessly repeating the Hell Mary. She was shaky at the knees and hyperventilating at the end but we had done it!
All the hard work and long miles payed off when we made it for the bus. On the road in we ran into our friends Buffalo, Scones and Doodles whom we hadn't seen since mid-Oregon and hadn't expected to see again. What a treat! The real treat was when the bus stopped at the Stehiken Bakery. We bought a cinnamon roll, a pecan roll, a blueberry scone, a Kuckhen, a lemon bar and a baked pesto mushroom sandwich. Best bakery on trail? Defiantly. Best in the world? Possibly.
Stehiken is the coolest place ever. No cars. The only way to get there is a boat or a hiker bus. There is an amazing lodge which we are staying at, a ranch which we are eating at, a bakery that we feasted at, and a gorgeous lake which we swam in. Sitting on the lake shore looking up at the mountains high above it wasn't hard to imagine myself in Geneva or some smaller town in the Swiss Alps. The war is over for us. Now all that's left is too swim in the lake, drink beer and hope we have enough points to go home (think HBO WW2 mini series).
Oh new idea, yearoing. Why just spend a day enjoying your favorite trail town? Get jobs and live there!
We had an excellent all you can eat pot roast dinner at the ranch. We wore our finery, a captains hat (Swedish graduation tradition) and some pearls my mom sent us. In addition to these items our resupply package included a pipe, a "we did it" sign, a string of flags (Mex-USA-Can), and two half bottles of Champagne! Time to celebrate at the boarder. Our night ended with a hiker game night in the lodge.
Leaving Stihekin we stopped at the bakery on the way out, ate the best brunch ever and took an extra three cinnamon rolls to for the last mornings. Final total for the two visits: $ 62. Worth it!
That day I had a slight pressure in my nose, a small reminder of the cold I had I assumed. Wrong. That night I woke up with a raging sinus infection. Couldn't have the last 75 miles be easy could we?
We had a nice day hiking with Buff, Scones and Doodles reminiscing about the trail. That night we roasted marshmallows my mom sent us and made s'mores.
The final obstacle between us and Canada was a series of washouts caused by the torrential rains weeks earlier. We had heard that this made the last 20mi of trail the hardest of all the trail. The most affected area was a mile of trail with half a dozen of large washouts and a number of smaller ones. Each one required its own sketchy down climb over the deep walls and then once inside the climb out was just as challenging. The ground was falling away and crashing down the hill every step we took. We were so glad to be done.
CANADA!!! The boarder (a clear cut in the trees) holds the terminus (a bunch of logs and a PCT sign) and Monument 78 (the heaviest boarder marker/trail register ever). We drank our champagne, held up our "We Did It" sign & flags, and threw up out sailor hats to celebrate. The Monument contained a bottle of moonshine and a pickle in a bag amongst other things. It's was nice to have three other thru hikers there to celebrate with.
Now we are in Manning Park trying to understand what all we have done, what it meant, and what's next...Luckily there is a hot tub, a steam room, and a sauna to think about it in.
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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