Oh Canada! My Canada! Our wayward trip is done,
The packs have weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The border is near, the cheers I hear, the people are all soaking,
While follow trail with toe and heel, the shoes are worn and tearing,
But oh feet! Feet! Feet!
Oh so callused, sore, and red, on to Canada they must march until I find a warm dry bed.
What can be said, really? The rain and fog were our morning friends, as has been, but we had a bunch of hiker friends around as well.
Camp broke at 6am-ish and everyone made their merry way down to the border. It was a cake walk. A three mile wheelchair ramp of a trail.
The last bit of trail took the form of light switchbacks, and from one we could just barely see the tip of the monument below.
We walked through the trees and into a clearing which marked the boundaries of the U.S. and Canadian borders. In that strip of land was the northern terminus of the PCT and our friends KC, Wall-ee, and Snow White!
We took photos and goofed around. The merriment only grew as more and more hikers arrived. More friends, old and new, walked or ran in from both the north and the south. Maybe 20 hikers or so had gathered within a couple of hours. We cheered for the others as they ran downhill to the finish line! It was a party on the border for sure!
The remaining miles to Manning Park were nice enough. For myself and the other hikers it had seemed if a great weight had been lifted off our shoulders, only to be replaced by another one.
Well, at least we weren’t alone. KC, Teflon, and Fool Hardy split a room with us at the lodge. We also joined a few other hikers for dinner and drinks down at the bar. The Seattle Seahawks football game was a short distraction from the somber atmosphere.
We made it! Bushtit hiked every step of the way, all 2650 miles. I came up a little short because of my foot injury back by Mt. Shasta, but the plan is to make up those miles in the spring and clear up the gap. Thankfully my tendinitis did not flare up again once I recovered!
It might be easier to sum up this hike after some time to reflect. Maybe one of us can share the feelings of accomplishment and loss more appropriately after a few days.
As I write this post I am in Vancouver and am so overwhelmed by it all. It was impossible for me to spare the brainpower necessary to pick out some new clothes at the store to wear, so I just gave up and walked away. The endless crowd of faces is stressful to see, and putting together a plan for how to get home is a monumental task standing in front of me.
More posts to come.