On my second to last day on the trail I ran into Kelsey just south of Harts Pass. We took a break outside the Ranger station and while enjoying the respite a Ranger came out and posted signs closing the PCT behind us. A new fire had started as a result of lightning the night before. The air was heavy with smoke but going north the sky looked clearer. We decided to hike an additional 16 miles. At camp we each cowboy camped and were about 25 yards apart. It was a long day and after 7pm before we had stopped. Shortly after it got dark a parade of elk started coming right through our camp! Most of them stopped to lick the salt from where each of us had peed. They were big beautiful creatures and a fine sight to end the day. I was on the trail at 5:20 the next morning knowing I had just shy of 24 miles ahead. The mountains are now less dramatic than the Cascades of the past three weeks but the anticipation of the finish kept me energized and excited. I reached the US-Canadian border around noon by myself which let me savor the moment for 15 minutes before Kelsey arrived. We took photos then took off. There was still almost nine miles to hike to get to the road and Manning Park. Kelsey’s father was to pick her up at the lodge at Manning Park that evening and she told me I was welcome to a ride with them back to the Seattle area. That sounded so much better than taking a Greyhound to Vancouver and a flight home from there.
I am relieved and happy that my Pacific Crest Trail adventure is over. I will think about it for a couple days and compose my final thoughts. I know that I have once again realized that I have hidden strengths that I must appreciate. Digging deep reveals parts of ourselves that we rarely see. I am enjoying that feeling right now. Smoky skies
Looking back at the trail about 6 miles from the end.
Poco Loco finished the Pacific Crest Trail. 2660 miles from Mexico to Canada.