Apologies for the break in posting. But here I am.
I’m working on rebuilding the site for post trail life. I’ll do the trail recap etc. as promised, then focus this site on ultrarunning and other trail/endurance related addiction. Speaking of which, tomorrow is the Santa Monica Mountains 50k. It will be my first real race since the Sycamore Canyon 50k back in April of this year. Talk to you soon.
Got home yesterday and a few hours later was in the mountains for a trail run with Nicole. I’m done walking, time to run. There is a 50k in late November with my name on it and Nicole is running a race the same day. I had one brand spanking new pair of Inov8s waiting for me and ordered some new socks as I trashed all the ones I had.
This morning I cleaned and dried out gear and am getting home life back into order. Thanks again to all who followed and helped along the way. I’m putting together a list of fun stats from the hike (such as longest stretch without a shower). If you have any suggestions as I compile the list, please leave it in the comments.
Tomorrow I’m going for a 35 mile run in the Santa Monica mountains to celebrate my 35th birthday and the completion of the hike. Can’t wait!
No rain overnight and thankfully none in the morning either. It was really nice to have the last couple nights out be relatively comfortable.
Hiked the 8 miles or so to Manning Park Lodge where I caught the Greyhound bus to Vancouver. The trail on that last section varied from flat and soft to washed out mud and rotted bridges.
Skytrain from bus station to YVR airport. Plane ticket for the morning. Slept about an hour in the lobby area. Security took my tarp stakes. I knew that might happen, but they were beat up from two thru-hikes and ready to retire. At the gate now waiting to board. Should be home in a few hours.
In the semi near future I’ll get some photos and maybe some video up. Thanks all for reading and for your support.
Hammered 31 miles before 5pm to reach the US/Canada border and complete the Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike.
It will take some time to sink in, so I have no profound words to share for now. It’s been a wild 115 days – travelling more than 2600 miles up and down mountains, through deserts, over 12000+ foot snow covered passes, and living in freezing rain day after day. It was challenging, rewarding, all that stuff. The experience itself can’t be passed along in words.
I’ll post more photos of the trip once I get home and settled a bit. Lastly, I would again like to thank everyone who helped out along the way and most of all my wife Nicole.
We decided to go to Harts Pass today and ended up cranking it so fast we were there 31 miles later by 5:30pm. Then it happened. Massive magic. A hiker (Serpant Slayer) who lives in WA set up at the pass.
There isn’t enough room in this post to explain how amazing the night was. I will just say: dry loaner clothes after a day in the rain, cheeseburgers with sauteed onions, tons of snacks, salad with lots of veggies, campfire, awesome company.
Other hikers here include: Flash, Lone Ranger, Milkshake, Cliffhanger, Buckeye, Swift, Hurricane, and Dreams. We are all planning to do the 31 or so to the border tomorrow. The plan is to camp there then the next morning go the 8 miles into Manning Park Lodge. That’s where I’ll catch a Greyhound bus to Vancouver, then a flight to LAX.
Camped at Rainy Pass tonight. Thankfully it is not actually rainy. It was a nice dry day with a mix of clouds and sun.
Huge breakfast this morning. I have to say that the food in Stehekin has been fantastic. Two stops at the lodge restaurant for 4 meals and dessert as well as two stops to the amazing bakery. This morning was a veggie omlet, hash browns, and toast as well as the special. The special was huge plate sized cinnamon rolls cut in half and dipped in egg batter and fried like french toast then covered in berries. Wow.
Back to the hiking part. Flash and I caught the 11am shuttle which got us to the trail just after noon. We put in 20 miles to get us to Rainy Pass where currently a curious deer is stalking our site. Speaking of wildlife we saw a bear and a rattlesnake today. First snake in some time. He rattled and coiled, then made his way off the trail.
Camped nearby are Milkshake, Cliffhanger, Buckeye, and Swift. They along with a couple others also plan to finish up on the 14th. Tomorrow is supposed to rain. Hopefully that is wrong or at least it won’t last. The goal is to get 30 or so miles and camp at Harts Pass.
It is time for precious sleep and I will be warm and dry tonight, so this will be brief.
First day without downpour in about a week. Had 22 miles to get to the ranger station where you shuttle into Stehekin. Looked like we were stuck getting the 6pm as there are only 4 shuttles a day. Decided to crank it and run/power hike it with Flash and made it by 2pm for the 3pm shuttle. Then more luck as we got a ride with a guy who had a van, so we made it to the PO before it closed.
Got my Canada paperwork and passport from my lovely wife and the food drop I sent myself from
Oregon. Dried out all the gear in the sun (so nice) and took a shower. Got a room at the lodge, did the gear explosion, and pounded two dinners with dessert.
Minimal wifi in the recreation room so was finally able to put up a bunch of back posts. Was able to use a calling card with a satellite phone to call home as well.
Breakfast tomorrow then catch a shuttle back up to the trail. 90 more miles to Manning Park Lodge and the end of the hike. 82 miles to Canada.
Flash and I continued through the official PCT Glacier Peak Wilderness today. This section of trail has had a detour in place for the past 7 years or so. That was when a huge storm, mudslides, and fallen trees bombed this section of trail. Since then new trail has been cut, windfalls removed, and a few new bridges put in. Sections are still pretty rough and rugged, but overall it’s not bad. It is impressive to see the amount of damage that was done and work that has countered it.
Apparently some of that new trail added miles to the section. By the end of today we got just past the end of the closure and logged only 23 miles. A couple of the data points seemed waaay off to the point that we thought we might have gotten onto a side trail somehow.
Anyway, that leaves about 22 into Stehekin tomorrow. Unfortunately that means missing the shuttle that would get us to the PO in time for the day. We can only hope they have the same Saturday hour as last year. Yes hour, as in they are open for one hour on Saturday.
It was a light sprinkle and tons of fog on the morning. It actually cleared a little a couple times enough to see the sun briefly. Unfortunately not enough to dry out gear. It rained on and off for the afternoon and evening. Slowed to a sprinkle to set up camp, but is pouring now. Certainly a rainy finale for the last stretch of trail! Hope to stay warm (enough) and dry (enough) tonight.
It was raining all night and into the morning. It’s lousy breaking camp in the rain having hiked in it for days and for the foreseeable future. It would be as bad if you could dry out your gear in between. Just the sleeping quilt really. 15 minutes of sun to get the quilt dry so that I know I’ll sleep warm. Nope. Rained all day today too. In think there was about 2 of the 13 hours we hiked that did not involve rain.
Anywho, yesterday was more like 22 miles since we passed Pear Lake way earlier than previously thought. Today was low 30s. Another bummer about the constant grey sky and fog is that I know there are great views all around le but I can’t see a thing. Hopefully there are a couple dry days coming up. I don’t want 10 days of rain to be my last memory of the PCT.
Saw lots of the silver backed marmots again today. One in particular was quite brave and would have made for a great video. He let me get within 5 feet of him and seemed very curious but cautious. They make a crazy whistle sound to communicate with one another.
Something like 45 miles to Stehekin and the final resupply. Got a decent camping spot with Flash near Fire Creek. Pretty chilly night, but the rain stopped shortly before we arrived and hasn’t picked back up yet. Fingers crossed.
Slept dry and warm last night and it was amazing after days of rain and cold. Grabbed breakfast at the Baring Store/Cafe before leaving town. It rained up until it was time to leave then eased up enough for Bob Holtel and his son to give Flash and I a ride to Skykomish. That’s part way back to the trail and an easier hitch.
Bob is the 79 year old guy I mentioned in the last post that is running the trail. He was the first to do so about 25 years ago and is now about to be the oldest. He wrote a book about his experience the first time around which I think can be found on Amazon by searching his name and the PCT.
From Skykomish it wasn’t too long before we got a ride to the trail. And once again I was a hiker. It stayed pretty dry but as always completely overcast for the first few hours. After that it pretty much opened up and rained for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
A rough goal of getting to Pear Lake was floating around since there would be water, camping spots, and it would make about 18 miles for our late start day. With all the rain I wasn’t checking my maps as often as usual, but I have a feeling we got a couple miles past Pear Lake. It would have been hard to miss, but with the fog and head down hiking I suppose it’s possible. That meant hiking into the dark looking for something that wasn’t there with not enough water, and nowhere clear to set up. It’s not as though we need a lot of space to make camp, but most of the trail was narrow ridge walking. Then the snow started.
We found some water along the way and then were able to make due with a couple spots off the trail under some trees. It’s back to raining now and quite cold, but I’ve got dinner in me and should get through the night without issue.
Just before dark we saw a mother bear and two cubs. Pretty cool. They were in a field eating berries about 30 yards from us when we discovered each other. The cubs took off and mother bear gave a look then followed. They crossed the trail then mother bear turned again and got up on her hind legs. Once she saw we were not a threat she followed the cubs off into the thicker brush and trees.
Too many mixed reviews on what the weather is going to be. Most of the people we see just say it’s going to be lousy for at least the next week. I’m hoping it clears up a couple times to at least dry out gear and have some views. We’ll see what happens. Somewhere around 160 miles to the border (and 8 more to Manning Park Lodge).