a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 2648.9 to 2652.6. (+8 Miles to Manning Park)
FINAL CAMPGROUND IN THE USA to Manning Park, BC, Canada
Today is the day. Unbelievable, the last day of our epic adventure has come!
We all wake up with the biggest smiles on our faces and huge excitement! From our campground to the border it is only 3.8 miles of hiking, which means it shouldn’t take longer than one hour, since it is all downhill as well.
So Maya, Poodlebee, Trooper, Badger, ChillBill and I hike out at about 8am. We all capture several videos and are so full of anticipation. We decided that we want to reach the monument together and therefore are mostly hiking in a straight line, Badger and Poodlebee leading the way maybe a 100 meters in front of us. We reach a marker saying “1 mile to go”. This all feels so surreal. I start filming, telling the story of our PCT adventure in fast forward when we hear several shouts from Poddlebee and Badger. Oh my god, they must have reached it, right after this curve!
We slowly hike around the corner and see a clearing in the forest and there it is! The monument! Only a couple of meters away! So crazy, we really did it! And then Maya touches the monument, smiling, incredulity and happiness radiating off her face. Then it’s my turn, I shout as well, smiling! Emotions running high. Wow, what an epic moment! After some seconds also Trooper and ChillBill arrive! Smiles everywhere. We really did it.
Now everyone starts taking pictures with the monument, which by the way (obviously) marks the end of the trail and is the official border between the United States and Canada. And the clear cut line between the trees going all the way up is literally the borderline.
People keep trickling in, Captain, Sriracha and Puddles among others. Badger has hiked all the way carrying a drone and is now taking some pictures and videos of all of us with his drone.
Everyone now „enjoys“ their last breakfast on trail and soon it is time to leave the monument behind and hike further on to Manning Park. Unfortunately this means another 8 miles of hiking and the first 3 miles is just uphill.
Some of our fellow hikers don’t have an entrance permit to Canada and now it is the time for them to hike back to Harts Pass. We say goodbye to them and start our last miles.
The weather now starts to get worse, it is raining and pretty chilly. But we don’t mind at all, our hearts are filled with happiness and the knowledge of staying in a warm room this afternoon gives us a lot of power.
And soon we arrive on top of the last fucker and start the descent towards Manning Park. After a couple of minutes we meet two Canadian day hikers, who speak definitely a different English and are questioning us a lot about the PCT. It is nice to talk to them but as for now, the only thing we want is to arrive in Manning Park. That’s why we still hike with a fast pace and soon the two Canadians are out of breath and behind us.
At last we arrive at a road and have to follow it for the last 0.5 miles to the resort when suddenly a car slows down and a man and a woman are asking us if we have just come off the PCT? We respond with ‚yes, we have‘! They ask us if we maybe know their son going by the name Chillbill? They have driven all the way from West Virginia to Manning Park, over 4’000, miles to pick up their son today! Yes, indeed we know him, we camped with him and arrived at the border with him this morning, he is just half an hour behind us. They say thank you and offer to drive us to the resort, which we thankfully decline because it is only 0.5 miles more.
And then we arrive in Manning Park! Wow! We are actually here, in Canada! it takes exactly 30 seconds until a Canadian family spots us and congratulates us, takes some pictures of and with us and invites us for a beer later!
And then we spot our friends Arms, Double D and Gourmet, which we last have seen before the California/Oregon border and who we knew had arrived one day earlier. What a surprise that they‘re still here! We all hug and congratulate each other and then finally check in at the hotel.
Tomorrow Kim will pick us up here in Manning Park and will take us to Vancouver Island!
This is where our PCT adventure ends. We feel happy and sad at the same time. Something great just happened, but it is going to take a while until we will be able to grasp the meaning of it all. But for now the happiness is predominant.
It has been the biggest adventure of both our lives (so far). There is really not much more to say at this point. We end this chapter with a saying we wrote in both the first and the final PCT trail registers:
If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
The later we did, and we made it. :). - Bingo & Ratatouille OUT.