Oh, Canada!: days 148-151

Day 148: Stehekin Ranger Station to PCT mile 2591.1, 21.7 miles
Day 149: PCT mile 2591.1 to 2613.8, 22.7 miles
Day 150: PCT mile 2613.8 to 2635.3, 21.5 miles
Day 151: PCT mile 2635.3 to Manning Park (Canada!!!), 23.5 miles

We had a great last few days on trail. Washington certainly didn’t go easy on us as far as terrain was concerned, but it was so beautiful that we didn’t notice much!

One of my favorite parts was seeing the tamarack trees changing colors; they are the only deciduous softwood, meaning that they change color and loose their needles each year.

We had a bit of rain, hail, and snow a few times; but never long enough to be a bother, and we enjoyed hiking through softly falling snowflakes, it made us feel as if we are wrapping this whole trail up at the right time.

And then came day 151; I remember thinking that these last few weeks would pass by quickly, but it still surprised me how fast the miles seemed to go. We camped a bit earlier than we wanted to the day prior, due to the aforementioned rain, but still felt confident we’d make it in a day the 14.5 miles to the border (the northern terminus of the PCT), and then the 9 miles to Manning Park, a provincial park in British Columbia with a very hiker-friendly resort.

We stopped for a classic hiker lunch two miles from the border (a “ramen bomb” instant mashed potatoes and ramen mixed together- trust me it is delicious, even cold! You just have to hike a few hundred miles first to realize it.). We had a few moments to collect ourselves and reflect on our time. The last miles flew by, and we knew that we were a quarter-mile away when we could see the twenty foot wide slash that runs the US-Canada border.

you can see the slash on the right

And then we were at the border! It gives me chills to type it still. It was an awesome moment, and even though we were confident we would make it, I breathed a sigh of relief that we finally did. And then we drank wine, and had some tequila other hikers shared with us as a wedding gift. There were about eight other hikers there, and the mood was quite festive!

We signed the journal at the monument, took another moment to let it soak in, and then hiked into Canada. We made it into the resort in time to have a celebratory dinner, and spent the next day there as well to do laundry, soak in the hot tub, and rest our tired feet (and ankles, legs, & hips!). Now it is onto Vancouver, and then we’ll slowly make our way back to Maine. After that, well we’re thinking about it! I will still try to continue the blog, although it will shift back to cooking, with maybe a few adventures thrown in!

It is still a bit fresh to sum-up what this whole hike has meant. We weren’t hiking to find ourselves (although, that is a very worthy reason to hike!), or for the challenge; we were doing it because we both love to hike, especially together. I’ve always dreamt about doing a long distance trail, and Garrett has had his eye on the PCT since he finished the AT in 2011, so it seemed fitting to do this as our honeymoon. It was and will always be a very special time in our lives, but leaving the trail I don’t feel like we’ve lost anything- as we still have the most important part of the experience, each other. We both could have done it alone, but we wouldn’t have wanted to. Thank you for following along, we appreciated all of your comments and encouragement! This is Tuff Broad & Bear Sweatz signing off, until next time!