Mile 2646 to 2659, 13 miles
Cost: Manning Park Lodge Chalet, $40 CAD
Who would’ve thought it ‘eh?!
160 days, 2659 miles, (4254 km), 3 states… 3 bears, numerous rattlesnakes, cactus, desert, heat, storms, snow, hail, sunshine, wind… Hard times, fun times, good times, trail angels & trail magic, good friends, crowded hotel rooms, burgers, pizza, burritos, mimosas and margaritas. I made it 🙂
I slept in, ate one final breakfast on the PCT (a brownie from the Stehekin bakery and it still tasted so fresh and delicious), then started hiking around 8:30am.
It was just over 3 miles to the monument and it came around very quickly. I knew I was coming up to it before I could see it because I could hear Sticky Buns and Milkshake already there celebrating!
I thought I would be emotional, but it’s strange… I wasn’t.
There were 2 other people there who I hadn’t met before (and can’t remember their names) but they weren’t going into Canada and instead were going to walk back to Harts Pass. So the 5 of us celebrated with whiskey, a small bottle of champagne and the box of red wine… As well as eating the box of cheezels that my dad sent over and my favourite Australian sweets columbines and Cadbury chocolate.
I was the last to leave after signing the registry and reading through all the other entries. It would probably come as no surprise that I felt pretty sick as I walked on the extra 9 miles after my celebration second breakfast at 10am!
I got emotional when I came across these stones on the trail!
And then I arrived at Manning Park Lodge. It was over. Really over.
I went to the reception and asked for a room only to be told that the hostel was full and so was the lodge because of a wedding. I had horrible visions of having to camp in my wet tent… This was not how it was supposed to end! The lady at reception was incredibly helpful and told me to take a seat while she figured out a solution. I sat down for about half an hour and then was told they were going to open up a triplex chalet for PCT hikers but gave us the same rate as the hostel, perfect! So my home for the night was a triplex with 3 front doors, 2 queen beds, 8 bunk beds, 2 sofa beds, a lounge, kitchen and 3 bathrooms… It was very comfortable! And there were only 5 of us in there: me, Rainbow, Sticky Buns, Milkshake and Super Classy.
I did the usual: laundry, shower, hung up my tent to dry etc then went for an early 5pm dinner at the restaurant. I joined Minty Fresh and Super Classy for dinner. Super Classy was on her second round of the pulled pork poutine because she said it was so good so I passed on the steak and ordered wings and the pulled pork poutine… But I’m going to have to curb this diet of horribly fattening fast food now that I’m no longer hiking! … Dinner was delicious and reception had given me a voucher for a free drink for being a PCT hiker, so the free double Long Island Iced Tea went down a treat too!
Today wasn’t how I imagined it to be, but I guess that’s life. I’m glad I’m finished. Really glad. But I will miss the people I met and hiked with on the trail and I will miss the daily beautiful scenery and experiences of seeing bears and almost stepping on rattlesnakes and seeing a stag on the trail… You know, those kind of experiences that make you feel really alive.
I need to say a very big thank you. To everyone who donated to the PCTA through my razoo page, thank you!
To Myamadventure to your sponsorship, thank you!
To Nick at Unnu, thank you for helping me out with more than 100 protein & energy bars that I brought with me from the UK!
To all of the Trail Angels and Trail Magic, thank you!
To everyone I met on the trail for enrichening my experience, thank you!
To everyone following my blog and leaving encouraging comments, thank you so much. There were many times when I didn’t have enough phone service to be able to reply but I saw your comments come through and they really helped, more than I can say. Thank you so much!
What’s next?! A couple of days in Vancouver, then Seattle, then I fly out of San Diego. I’m not sure how long I’ll be home in London for but I’ve been dreaming about doing another camino… One where I can drink Sangria, eat Paella and catch a Flamenco show… Carry on and keep walking, ‘eh!