a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 2598.8 to 2622.0. Snowy campground to Harts Pass campground.
The night was freaking cold and we didn’t exactly get much sleep. After getting up at 6am we resume our hike north hoping to catch the rest of the gang. We get to experience the most spectacular sunrise. And while we don’t actually see the sun rise we see the light reflecting on the mountains surrounding us. They are shining bright in red and pink colors. We enjoy the moment because from experience days with such an an amazing sunrise don’t stay sunny for long. And we couldn’t be more right. The clouds come quickly.
We catch up with everyone else after about two miles and are passed by them once more while we are having breakfast further down the trail. Puddles and Sriracha on the other hand are nowhere to be seen. According to Poodlebee they got up really early and must be ahead of us.
There is more and more snow covering the ground and before we know it it starts snowing. First there are light flakes and soon it’s heavy snowfall. The landscape is out of this world. We are in pretty exposed area, hiking up a slope towards the top. It’s quite dark and somber and not a sound is to be heard except for the snow falling down. The snow is much drier than rain and we don’t actually get too wet which we’re glad about. We even decide to stop for lunch at Glacier Pass underneath some trees. We fold out our footprint and cook a hot lunch which feels great in these temperatures. But we can’t stay there for too long. Not soon after we are really freezing and need to get going again.
This sombre, eerie atmosphere is really weird. We don’t really feel comfortable in our own skin. It just makes us feel so so small. We picture the hot tub at the Manning Park Resort and how much we long to be sitting in it right now. That’s gonna have to wait. But just two more days until we’re there. We can push through. We can do it.
We reach Harts Pass, the last road on US soil around 5.30pm. This is where we plan to camp. Everyone else has pushed on, but I assume we will catch them by doing a big day tomorrow. The fire that had previously closed the northern end of the PCT is still burning, but the PCTA has reopened the last 12 miles of the PCT as it’s not in any danger. This means that first thing tomorrow we will get on the fire detour starting at Harts Pass and hike on that alternate for 22 miles. Then we will rejoin the PCT, hike 7 more miles and reach our campsite after a total of 29 miles. A big day. But really our last day on trail because it will mean that we only have 5 more miles until Canada the day after tomorrow.
Some hikers didn’t get their Canada entry permits and will have to walk back here to Harts Pass after they’ve reached the border. One of them is camped right here tonight. He’s been hoping to get a rid out of here but it feels like we’re at the end of the world here and that somebody’s going to drive up here tonight is very unlikely. I feel a little sorry for him. He’s done it, he’s completed the PCT, but now has to rely on someone to get him back to civilization and can’t yet enjoy the sensation of being done. When suddenly a car arrives. With another hiker and her dad in it. She’s come to get her friend! How awesome is this hiker community!
Our second last night on trail. We set up camp right beside Poodlebee and keep talking with him through the walls of our tents. We’re boiling snow to make hot bottles for the night. It’s supposed to go down to -5° celsius. Brrrrrh.