a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 2622.0 to 2648.9. Harts Pass campground to FINAL CAMPGROUND IN THE USA!!!
The night was icy cold again. We‘re talking subzero temperatures here and while Dario is just fine (cold too but acting the hero) I am literally shaking in my sleeping bag, wearing every single layer of clothing I carry with me. Which might not be the way to do it as EarlyBird, an elderly German lady, told us yesterday. She sleeps almost naked in her sleeping bag and swears that this is the way to do it to stay warm. Last night we boiled two bottles of water to use as hot bed bottles, and did so again at 3am in the morning when the water had gone cold. We get up at 5am because sleeping is nearly impossible anyway and start hiking at 6am. More snow has fallen during the night and the snow cristals reflect in our flashlights as we make our way up the first mountain in the dark.
Today is reroute day and the second last day out here. The final terminus was actually closed a couple of weeks ago due to a fire, but has luckily reopened. However, the fire is still burning in some areas and there is a reroute around it. We should reach the PCT again by the end of the day, and do the last couple miles to the border tomorrow.
After the uphill comes the downhill, and it goes on for a long time. Fortunately the sun comes out eventually and we get to actually dry our tent. And soak up some sun ourselves! We don‘t stop for long though, too strong is our will to make it to Canada asap!
We walk in the snow a fair bit, through forests and meadows and quite enjoy our last day on trail. We are getting so excited now that the Canadian border is almost within reach and our minds are just filled with so many pleasant memories and positive thoughts.
All day we meet hikers hiking SOBO back from the Canadian border to Harts Pass, the first place where they can hitch out of to the nearby towns of Mazama or Winthrop. Once we reach the border we can either walk into Canada, provided we have the Canada entry permit, or turn around back to Harts Pass. That‘s why we keep meeting hikers, new faces and old friends like Flat Earth from the Netherlands. Luckily we applied and got the Canada entry permit approved many months ago and will only have to do 8 miles from the border to a place called Manning Park tomorrow. The NOBOs newly turned SOBOs all mention that there is another detour one can take by staying longer on the alternate and come back to the PCT a little later. This will cut some miles off the PCT, but since the detour is longer than the now closed PCT anyway, it evens out in the end. This detour is supposed to be a little easier but equally beautiful. So we decide to do it.
The day really gets more and more beautiful, we are so grateful that the PCT provided us with such a stunning last day! The ground is mostly covered in snow, but the sun is shining, mountain tops are glowing, our hearts are full. Pure happiness! We are sad that this life is about to end. But we have so many great things planned in the upcoming weeks and also can‘t wait to get started with the next chapter!
We reach our campsite just as the sun sets. We are back on the PCT now and only have 3 miles left to the Canadian border tomorrow. This is surreal! We set up our tent for the last time. It’s set up in no time, we’ve become pros at this. (Well, we did practice a lot.) Poodlebee, Trooper, Chillbill and the two of us share the campsite, exchange stories from inside the warmth of our sleeping bags. One more sleep and we are in Canada. The destination we always had in the long run and never dared thinking about too much. It's here. It's finally here.