Day 163 – Oh Canada, My Canada

September 20th

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.

We left the rain and clouds behind at our camp and waltzed forward into blue skies and sunshine. From a half mile away we could hear hoots and hollers coming from somewhere down in the trees below.

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!

After lots of exuberance and chatting we realized that we still had 8 more miles to hike before we were done. It was kind of a victory lap, but one we didn’t really want to walk.

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.

We walked up to the lodge at Manning Park. We were done. What now?

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.

12 thoughts on “Day 163 – Oh Canada, My Canada

  1. thanks very much for sharing!!!! I just started studying the PCT, but your hike just made feel I can do it, hope you don’t mind I will use it like and example to follow…thanks again and congratulations


    1. Glad our blog can be of use! Check back because we’re putting together some posts detailing our expenses for the trip as well as gear reviews and other such things! Good luck with your eventual trip!


  2. Congratulations! I too have been following from the PCT subreddit. I’m a tiny bit jealous of your incredible journey, but mostly happy to have lived vicariously through y’all’s trip.


    1. Thanks Dawn! Have an amazing journey on the JMT! It was one of if not THE most stunning part of the PCT. My favorite part was King’s Canyon between Forester Pass to Kearsarge Pass. The 8ish miles from the PCT/JMT to Kearsarge pass and the Onion Valley Trailhead is very very much worth the side trip, especially so if you plan on resupplying in Lone Pine or Independence!


  3. Congratulations on completing your hike! I found you guys on the PCT subreddit and have been following along since Mt. Laguna. It’s been an absolute pleasure to read about and see the trail through your eyes. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us! Best of luck with what comes next!


  4. Congratulations!!! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. Such an amazing feat, and you both documented it so well. I wish you nothing but happiness and peace on your post trail life!! Congrats again!


  5. I picked the two of you to follow the whole way (mainly because you are a fellow Duck). Congrats to the two of you for making it to Canada! Thanks for sharing your journey through words and pictures. Good Luck to you both on your next adventure in life!


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