Day 145 (Sept. 12): Mile 2,638.5 – 2,653.1

O CANADA!

Beginning Elevation = 6,200
Ending Elevation = 3,900 (Off PCT)
Elevation Range = 3,900 – 7,100
Weather: Cloudy, rain in evening

The whole team was up and moving early this morning. We took off around 7:00am with TW out in front, then me, and Cheer and Calzone following a ways behind. The wide openness continued on our way up and through Rock Pass, just a mile further ahead.Break on through (Rock Pass)…To the other side…

The other side was like nothing I’d experienced yet on the trail. The morning sun was hitting the side of the mountain so that everything was super bright and bold. I could look down and see the long switchbacks of the trail meandering across and there were about 5 or 6 ant-sized hikers cruising along the track, TW included.We made our way down to that bottom line of trail and then went up again, now with the goal of reaching Woody Pass. In the photo above, it’s the gap straight ahead in the central-top part of the photo.I noticed the rock near the top consisted of this cool looking conglomerate material and all the inclusions were nice and rounded.Here’s my amateur geologist interpretation…obviously, the rounded material existed prior to the formation of the larger conglomerate unit. The rounded feature gives us a clue that they likey existed in a river depositional environment where the action of moving water and other stones/sediment slowly, with large amounts of time, smoothed out their individual edges. Now here’s where things get tricky. How did they get to be up here in this mountain? I do not know. My best guess is that it was a glacial melt stream that over geologic time had layers of fine eroded materials deposited overtop, and then the whole unit was uplifted! Haha there you go folks πŸ˜‰

And here’s going through the pass…Cheer and I walked a bit here together and were taking lots of breaks. This section had some of the most far out viewing. Pretty certain we were seeing into Canada here for the first time too!And I saw another bear! He looked to be the biggest one yet, but hard to tell since far down below…More crazy mountains….And all that before breakfast!!! TW and Cheer, who were ahead at this point, had found a lovely spot to stop, even if they did make us climb up off trail to get to it!Ignore my laugh, but sometimes a video gives a better feel for the place…and this spot was truly magnificent. It was the highest elevation point of the day at 7,100 feet and the start of about an 8 mile downhill stretch to Canada!For most of the time, we hiked this last section all together chatting it up. We were doing some serious scheming for our future ice cream shop that we plan to open. I’m not giving away our secrets that are going to separate us from the rest of the competition though. The last few miles we were still near each other hiking, but all doing our own thing, I think just taking in the moment. Then, all of a sudden, we came around a turn and saw an opening with some other hikers gathered. And there it was…the PCT Northern Terminus Monument! We had made it to Canada!I felt a little odd walking up to the monument with a group of hikers watching me. There were maybe 7 or 8 hanging around basking in their achievement, but also congratulating and welcoming us newcomers to Canada. It was nice, but also gave me a little stage fright I’m embarrassed to say. Eventually, I realized we’re all just happy to be there and nobody cares what others did or didn’t do.

After dropping our packs, we had our celebration photo shoot and then had lunch right there too. Cheer had packed in a small bottle of champagne which we shared and I also enjoyed my treat of my Kiwi Strawberry Shasta soda that I’d carried from Hart’s Pass. Woohoo!

Just 5 months difference…and around 2,130 miles…Sumi and Sebastian the gnome (Calzone’s comrade) made it too…Here’s the squad…Others were here celebrating too…It was a bit surreal for me being at the border. I found it hard to take in/comprehend the moment and to see this monument as a marker for how far we’d come and all the things we’d gone through to get here. It was indeed a big deal, but for me, I felt it was different than for those who were here having completed the trail. Cheer, Calzone, and I still plan to jump back down and finish the section we’d skipped, so, like any young college b-baller who’s just made made it to the Final Four will say when interviewed, “We’re not done yet!” Maybe that was a stretch, but you catch my drift? You picking up what I’m putting down?

After we got our fill of border crossing celebrations, we slowly gathered up our things and trudged ahead into the Canadian bush…we had still another 8 miles of unknown terrain (this section wasn’t on our map app) to go before reaching Manning Park Resort where we hoped to get a hotel room. We were not excited when the trail was steep, rugged, and uphill. TW in particular was a bit peeved that he’d hiked all the way to Canada and was rewarded by doing more hiking. He soon took off ahead on a personal quest I believe to finish things out with one last big push. That, and he really wanted a hotel room and wanted to beat the other hikers near us in case the place became full.

Welp, we did it. We made it to Manning Park, British Columbia. Unfortunately, when I asked the front desk if they had any rooms…nope, all booked up. I was quite crestfallen. I found TW soon after and he was pissed off. It had started raining as I’d walked up and our alternative was tenting by the horse corale, something we weren’t excited about at all. When Cheer and Calzone came, we broke the news to them and observed similar reactions. I even went back to see if any cabins were available, and discovered that one was. Hooray, I thought…but then…we were denied it since you had to reserve it for minimum 2 nights. Even after asking a mnaager to waive that for us…nope. I didn’t get the best vibes from the evening staff at the ole Manning Park Resort.

Eventually, TW and I ventured to the horse corale to set up our tents. Calzone and Cheer had actually found a ride to Seattle with another hiker, Ragdoll. From there they’d fly down to Reno, NV and get to where we planned to hike our skipped section. Before that though, we celebrated at the one restaurant around, The Bears Den Pub. It was a lovely time with many a laugh. A bit after the girls took off, TW and I and another hiker named Oberon walked down to our tents whilst the Canadian rain fell. It would be my only night in Canada on this journey.

5 thoughts on “Day 145 (Sept. 12): Mile 2,638.5 – 2,653.1

  1. Luke Medema

    Way to go Stevie Wonder!!! An impressive feat of strength, athleticism, skill, determination, resourcefulness, and grit! You are an inspiration and I hope your final stretch of the Sierra Nevada’s is conquered swiftly and safely. Also by looking at your Mexico/USA and Canada/USA photos it is clear that you have transformed from amateur mountain-man into a full on mountain-man over the course of your journey…Jeremiah Johnson would be proud πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kevin Kroondyk

    Congrats Steve! What a momentous achievement! I know you’re not done yet, but certainly this is worth celebrating! In fact, your burly mountain man beard is reason enough to celebrate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruth Prins

    Much applause!!! I love seeing your group celebrating at that monument. πŸ™‚ Having the luxury of a hotel room would have been a much deserved reward…….sorry it didn’t happen. 😦
    I wish you well as you return to the middle section and revisit the territory that wanted to be a barrier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. James Lautenbach

      Congrats Steve. I’ve been following you the whole way. I never left a comment but always looked forward to reading about your current adventure. Hope everything goes well for you back in the sierras.

      Liked by 1 person

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