Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Canada!!!

 
Ok...I know it only took me, ummm like 7 months to write this post. I'm sorry to all those who were eagerly waiting. It's really simple to sit down and write a blog post, but why the procrastination??? Perhaps I just wasn't ready to turn that final page of the journey over. As I had told others who'd ask when I was going to finish my blog, "I'll finish it when I'm ready," was always my answer, it was my journey, and this is how went:
 
Day 137
14 miles 
PCT mile 2668-THE END, Manning Park, BC, Canada!!!!!
 
Well...nature won last night...I laid in my tent long enough listening to the squeaky trees and worrying about the wind and my mortality, that at around 11pm I got up, threw everything out of my tent, dragged my tent out from under the dead trees that most likely were going to fall on me and end my PCT journey 1 day too soon, ending up on uneven ground sloping down, but sure I'd sleep much better here then my previous choice.
 
It was a bittersweet morning packing up camp. Just a mere 6 miles to the border...and then I'd be there, Canada. It's like one of those days where it doesn't seem real, like a hazy dream, is this really about to happen?!?
 
I beat the group out of camp, well Stomper left first, but I followed suit shortly after. This journey was about me and my solo trek from Mexico to Canada and I wanted to walk the last 6 miles to the border alone. In those 6 miles I replayed the whole 2660 miles in my head and what it took to get me there. Memories brought smiles to my face, tears to my eyes, overwhelming gratitude to my soul and sadness to my heart. I took in every breath like it was my last and filled my body with the wilderness that had become a part of me, that had taught me more about myself than I could not even begin to comprehend in that moment.
 
And then it was there! The monument! Canada! Just like that...no words can describe, I was numb. But a happy numb, this really happened.






  Hornsby was there...happy to see him (it had been 5 days since I saw him last, but knew he was only a few miles ahead) we were able to celebrate this moment together. We had quite a journey, I first met Hornsby on day 75 in Burney Falls...little did I know the miles and days we would stick out together. We were what was left of the Caboose Crew...Buffalo finished days ahead, and Sanford somewhere still behind us.


Hornsby!!!


Hornsby and I


 
We soaked in the moment of the border, took pictures, and witnessed as the others came to the same place as us, an end of a never-to-be-forgotten life changing journey.






My swag: Happy Feet, the Badgers, and the princess wand






The rest of the crew:

Stomper


No Mayo and Gypsy


Testament


Dangerspoon






Signing out...the last trail journal.


Eventually I was getting cold and needed to start moving again. The trail doesn't just end at the border...we still had 8 miles left to get to the nearest road and civilization. I continued on. Three miles later I came upon a BIG surprise:
 


I was speechless and awestricken...My mom and my brother, Eric, flew into Seattle yesterday, drove to Manning Park, Canada and then hiked 5 miles south onto the PCT this morning and waited for me!!! They knew I would finish sometime today, but really played the wildcard and waited several hours in the middle of the Canadian Wilderness for me to show up. 
 
 

What an epic way to end an epic journey. I hiked into Manning Park, Canada, with my brother, Eric, and my mom by my side.

Waiting
Where's Happy Feet????
Found her!!!

Best trail magic of the whole trail.


And done!!!

I am forever grateful to all my supporters...it would have never happened without all the love and strength I gained from all of you at home believing in me and this journey. So many of you made my resupply days unexpected and fun!!! The simple messages I got along the way...made tough days melt away. Thank you all,
 Love,
Happy Feet






 
 
 
 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 136

Day 136
October 3rd
24 miles
PCT mile 2654

As Sanford would say, "I'm over it!" That's what I said 16 miles into the day. I was looking at the trail that descended into a deep crater-like valley, only to climb back out on the other side to Woody's Pass. Seriously!!! We couldn't just take the easy way around and cut into the steep cliff side to the left? Granted it looked like rock slide haven, but in my mind the shortest way seemed the most logical at this point. Nonetheless I continued down and then up, and up, and up. In all reality it probably wasn't that bad of a climb, but my body, legs and feet were so beat up it felt like the worst of them all...knowing this was the last pass of the entire trail didn't even help my "negative" mind frame, instead I just bitched about it...sometimes you just got to let it out. Of course with every climb you are greatly awarded with fantastic views. The crew had stopped at the top to regroup and take in the last of what the PCT had to offer us. 

Coming over Woody's Pass

Though my negativity was still there I told everyone "I quit the PCT, I'm over it." It was my body, not my mind doing the talking. I was so fatigued anything over 18 mile days had me beat down. Truthfully, in all the days on the trail I had, I loved every single one of them, the thought of quitting never crossed my mind. I was the happiest I could be out here in the wilderness, this was my place.  And quitting today meant the easiest and fast way out was 20 miles north... Manning Park, BC, Canada. The end of the PCT.

We had 4 more miles to Hopkins Lake where we all agreed to camp, for our last night on the trail. It was dusk and though I hurried as I really wasn't wanting to hike too much of it in the dark, I stopped to take in the last sunset on the trail and do a bit of reflecting.

The last sunset


As it grew dark and I needed my headlamp to finish the last mile or so, Stomper had stopped to wait for me. He knew my headlamp battery was dying and night hiking on this rocky terrian was not easy for me. I was grateful for his thoughtfulness and kindness as we slowly made it into camp.

Ten of us again at camp, squeezed into a small grove of dead trees. Somehow in my fatigue...I choose a nice flat spot, but under two dead trees leaning at a 60 degree angle right over my tent, not to be noticed until I was already set up. Do I move? Are the trees going to fall on me? No, I'm sure I'll be fine. As I continued on to gather water and make some dinner.

The night was much warmer then the previous two nights and we were all able to eat our dinners around a bonfire and enjoy the last night on the trail.



Friday, October 31, 2014

Day 135 Hart's Pass

Day 135
October 2nd
21 miles
PCT mile 2630

There's a group of ten of us now and it looks like we'll stick together till the end. I ran into everyone taking a lunch break at Brush Creek, where we headed out together to Hart's Pass our final destination of the evening.

No Mayo, Danger Spoon, and Testament keeping warm in the sun.

Lunch time

At the top of we thought was our last big climb.


Continuing on to Hart's Pass

Selfie of the day




The group from left to right: Synik, Whispers, Sarge, Gypsy, No Mayo, Danger Spoon, myself, Testament, Stomper, and Can't Hike 55 (down in front) 





Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day 134...Rainy Pass, Cutthoart Pass, and Granite Pass

Day 134
October 1st
21 Miles
PCT mile 2609

Stomper left camp about an hour before me this morning, so I was on my own again...that was until Rainy Pass (12 miles into my day). I was pleasantly surprised to find Stomper with Gypsy, No Mayo, Testament and Danger Spoon...all hanging out in the parking area of Rainy Pass, devouring some trail magic left by some awesome trail angels.

I hope everything's ok...I thought to myself. I thought everyone but Stomper would be well over 10 miles ahead by now. Luckily, nothing was wrong, the crew was just enjoying the last days of the trail. It was great to catch up to them and have more company. My daily miles were getting harder and slower, as I could feel my body was never getting enough recovery and perhaps teetering the fine line of a few nagging injuries of overuse, which I continued to ignore...telling myself it's normal to feel this way after so many miles. With the others around it was a distraction outside myself and comforting to know we were all doing about the same daily mileage as one another and I wasn't falling as far back as I imagined in my head.

I sat down and enjoyed the chips and salsa left for us. There was a log book...Hornsby had been here four hours earlier, about a half day ahead.  Stomper and I were the last ones to leave Rainy Pass. Our goal to get up and over Cutthoart Pass...there was a rumor Cutthoart may get a dusting of snow today. 

The five mile climb from Rainy Pass to Cutthoart was nice and gradual, the skies were clearing, which made for a beautiful late afternoon hike.



Coming up to the top of Cutthoart Pass



Cutthoart Pass

When we cut over and dropped into Granite Pass the wind picked up and it got cold quickly as the sun was getting lower in the sky. Both Stomper and I stopped to put on jackets and gloves. At this point we were on the side of Granite Pass, the trail cutting through the side of the mountain's ridge line. "Two more miles," I told Stomper. There was a camp and water in two miles. At that point the terrian had gotten rocky and the bit of descending from Cutthoart had beaten up my ankles, and my feet were ready to be done. I put in my earphones and blasted my music. "Two miles...that's like 10 songs," I told myself and started jamming to distract myself from the unpleasantness of the last two miles. 

It was really cold when we reached the camp. The camp was exposed with zero tree cover. If we get any wet weather...it's going to be snow. I set up my tent, my rainfly was still wet from condensation from the night before, it was so cold my rainfly froze when I put it over my tent and the remaining condensation turned to ice. I crawled into my tent and cooked dinner from the warmth of my sleeping bag, calling it a night after eating dinner.