Day 162 (05/09/2018): Stream and Tentsite to Random Campsite on the Whistler Alternate Trail (22.4 PCT Miles) (~4.3 Miles OT)
Man, it got real cold last night. Peck had ice on his tent. My hands were numb within minutes of starting to break down camp. The site just below Tower Peak was absolutely beautiful though. Worth the cold to wake up to the sun shimmering off of those rock walls. Nice downhill through old growth forest with lots of streams. Then we went up loads of switchbacks to a ridge with expansive views that I’m sure would’ve stretched all the way to Canada if the smoke hadn’t moved back in today. It’s not as bad as before, so I can’t really complain. Just before Hart’s Pass there was an awesome Trail Angel named Ron who had parked his Honda Element right near the trail and was giving out drinks, sandwiches, fruit, chips, carrots, and ﬁnished it off with a slice of pumpkin pie! So good! Wonderful day to be hiking. Tomorrow I’ll camp close to the border. On Friday morning I’ll leave my tent and most heavy items, take only snacks, water, and a celebratory beer to the monument, and my northern bound journey will be complete!
Day 163 (06/09/2018): Random Campsite to Boundary Trail (PNT) Campsite at Mile 2648.9 (17.1 Miles OT) (7.7 PCT Miles)
Whew it was chilly once again this morning. Peck had ice on his tent again as well, I just had a little condensation. I hiked wearing my puffy until about 9am which I haven’t had to do since the Sierra. We passed a couple rangers while on the alternate, one who told me about a different trail I could take (Robinson) to get closer to Mazama on the way out, the other two were on horseback and asked if I’d ﬁlled out a permit (which I had). Peck forgot to get one and I was messing with him yesterday at the ridge saying that he’d have to hike back down to ﬁll one out (I ﬁlled it out for both of us). Once we turned up the Rock Creek Trail the blow downs were really intense, followed by tons of brush all over the trail. I can’t imagine the time and effort involved with keeping a trail like the PCT as good as it is through all this harsh terrain. Once back on the PCT the ridgelines and views really were magniﬁcent, even with all the smoke. I can’t believe I’m only 3.5 miles from Canada. Tomorrow morning I’ll be standing on the monument and it’ll all be over…after another 30 mile hike back towards Hart’s Pass, and a 16 mile section south of Ashland. Haha! The best decision I’ve ever made in my life was to come out and hike this trail. It’s simultaneously the most monumental and ﬂeeting thing I’ve ever done. Monumental in the sheer size and scale of the mountains, and length of trail covered. And ﬂeeting in that the time on trail has blown by, and it seems like only yesterday I was eating a slice of pizza at the Mexican border with Alex, Jake, and Rob. It’s a crazy thing, in less than half a year my feet took me across an entire country. I’m so happy right now to be sitting here in my tent and pondering all the people, places, and events that I’ve been fortunate enough to experience during this journey. Truly, I’m thankful.
Day 164 (07/09/2018): Boundary Trail (PNT) Campsite to Random Campsite on the Robinson Creek Trail (7.4 PCT Miles) (~21 Miles OT)
Man I smell so bad. Seriously cannot wait to take a shower. This morning was incredible. Regular routine of coffee and something small to eat, but then, I didn’t have to break down my tent and pack everything up. I just grabbed some water, my trekking pole, a beer I’d been carrying since Rainy Pass, and headed off towards the Northern Terminus! Since I had to hike back to Hart’s Pass I could just leave my stuff and slackpack to the border and back. It was wonderful. Taking photos at the monument and drinking an ice cold beer at 8 am, nothing beats it. I felt such a rush the whole morning, I just couldn’t stop smiling. All of the hikers heading to the monument today were all just as jubilant and offered congratulations and ﬁst bumps. I’m beyond thrilled, it’s honestly tough to put into words the unimaginable feeling that hiking through three states, five distinct types of terrain, and 2,650 miles from border to border gives me. I’m incredibly happy, lucky, and thankful for my amazing and supportive family and friends, as well as the countless trail angels and random kindness from strangers. The PCT hasn’t changed me though, it’s only allowed for the opportunity to experience it.
Day 165 (08/09/2018): Random Campsite on the Robinson Creek Trail to Ravensong’s Roost at Mazama (~7.5 Miles OT)
It rained a little bit overnight but come morning my ﬂy was all dry and it only sprinkled on us a little at Hart’s Pass. We made it unscathed! One couple who was hiking the section offered us a ride to Mazama but said they’d be a bit slow going back to the pass. Then a couple hunters offered us a ride as well when they were done scouting the area for black bear. It ended up that we didn’t need either as we scored a ride after about 45 minutes with a couple who own a vacation cabin in Mazama. Once they dropped us off we got a few beers and food then headed over to Ravensong’s Roost which is owned by Carolyn (First solo female PCT hiker). We met a few other former PCT hikers who were out doing the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT). Super fun night, awesome shower at that place. They had custom tile work done in the shape of the PCT emblem. Wonderful day overall.
The mornings are awe inspiringThe bit of smoke still lingering casts intense sun shadowsAs you can see hereSeriously, the views go on forever, you can even see the switchbacks we came upGod, this trail is so good!Peck making his way acrossAnd across this scenic log crossingCan’t remember the name of this pass, but we ate lunch on the other sideI’m sure Canada is out there somewhereFollow this valley down and you’re at the border!Hmm, weird line they cut in the treesOh, there you are beautiful!I can’t believe I actually got to finish this trail!!!On the way back to Hart’s Pass the views really opened upPeck celebrating tagging the borderI could stare at this expanse of mountains foreverYou can just pick out Peck rounding the corner of yet another scenic overlookLast chance for a final day trail selfieHart’s Pass, we made it Peck!!!I only took one photo on the Ashland fire closure section, and this is it! Hope you enjoyed this trail journal, and I thank you for reading.