Day 157 8-29-07 Motel 3800′
Spring & a good campsite – Manning Park, BC
14.9 (8.1) miles; 2663.5 (88.96) total miles; 4509.6 trip miles
Days camped alone 32
2007 PCT Critter Tour General Category
1- Marmot count is 170
2- Deer count is 135
3- Pika count is 83
4- Elk count is 65
5- Goat count is 21
6- Slug count is 17
7- Bear count is 7
8- Rattlesnake count is 6
9- Martin count is 1
10- Badger count is 1
Once again I didn’t sleep worth a crap. I was so restless I just tossed and turned most of the night. When I first went to sleep, I had some small critter running around my tent and climbing through the trees above me. At one point it either ran into my tent or thought it was solid and jumped on it. I heard the swoosh of nylon as it jumped to the tree. I was up and didn’t miss a beat at 5:30 AM. No oversleeping today! I packed up fast and was on the move before 6 AM. I climbed to a narrow ridge and was rewarded with another spectacular view. Someone was camped on top, so I’m glad I hadn’t hiked up there like I thought about last night.
From the ridge I had to make a descent into the bowl on the north side just to climb back up to Woody Pass. There was an alternative route that cut across the side of the bowl through a scree (a steep mass of loose rock on the slope of a mountain) field. Yogi’s book had 3 quotes from former hikers saying if you valued your life not to take it. Viewing the alternate from the PCT, it didn’t look difficult at all. I saw a couple of pikas and some marmots as I made my way to the pass.
On the other side of the pass, I continued to traverse more bowls as I made my way north. I saw a few more pikas and marmots as I approached the top of the last climb. Just before the top, I met Alan who I had heard about earlier from some other hikers. He was camped there and just finishing breakfast. We spoke for a short bit then I moved on. I passed an unnamed summit on Lakeview Ridge on my way to Hopkins Lake spur trail. Since I knew I was way ahead of schedule, I started to clean out water bars on the way down the slope. I skipped going to Hopkins Lake and went right for Hopkins Pass. At the pass I saw 3 pikas all in one spot. I got some water not far after the pass and eventually got to Castle Pass, where there was a couple in their tent. It was almost 10 AM and they hadn’t gotten up yet.
From Castle Pass I only had 4.1 miles to go. It was all downhill as well. The trail was overgrown for the first half of the descent. I cleaned more water bars and as I was getting close to what I thought was the border, I met two guys coming southbound. I asked them how close I was and one of them said, “that depends whether or not your Scatman”. I said I was and they proceed to tell me my Dad was waiting for me just down the hill. I talked to them for around 5 minutes and then the pull of finishing got the best of me and I had to go.
I double-timed it down the trail and before long I saw the swath dividing the US and Canada. At that point I had only 4 switchbacks left! I hiked even faster now and once around the 4th switchback, I saw the monument through the trees. I stopped and yelled to my Dad to get the camera ready. Once he was ready, I practically ran down the last 100′ or so. I couldn’t believe I was there! It wasn’t the emotional scene I pictured all those times I daydreamed about the moment while hiking. I crossed the border at 11:30 AM and then just turned to the monument and stared. I felt relieved to be there. It had been such a long time since I left Mexico and it was good to see my Dad and Canada. He stopped filming then I gave him a big hug. We talked some then took my finishing photos. I took a video of the monuments and what they say and we then headed up the trail to have lunch. The flies at the border were terrible but didn’t improve at the horse camp where we had lunch. We tried our best to enjoy my last trail lunch despite the flies. I put on my rain pants it was so bad. My dad had a butterfly that kept landing on him. It landed on his ear, nose, arms, and hands. It just kept coming back.
We left for the resort around 12:38 PM and started my last climb hiking. As we hiked it got hotter and hotter. My Dad started to get winded as we went so we had to take our time. We finally crested the climb and reached a fire road in which we descended. While taking one of our breaks, the husband wife couple I stayed with the night before came down the trail. We all hung out a while then headed for the lodge.
When we finally hit the road, which was only the 3rd paved road since Snoqualmie Pass, we headed east to the lodge. Instead of taking the road the whole way, we cut through a field to the backside of the resort and saved ourselves a half mile. My Dad and I went inside and I snuck up on my Mom, who was expecting me to come in the front door. I gave her a hug and we then looked at the PCT register. I wanted to hit the shower so we all went to the room. While in the shower, my Mom got a few good pictures of me with my hair slicked back. They’re pretty funny!
After showering my dad took his turn and then we went to dinner. I enjoyed my first cold beer in a while. I also had some ice cream for desert. After dinner we went back to the room and just relaxed. Our last piece of business was hitting the pool house to swim and use the hot tub. Both were great. It was a nice way to finish a long day.
Get out there!