The day we’ve been walkin for. Well not really but an important one in the saga. We hit the road at 6:30am and begin descending into the final valley. We are slack packing because we left our tent at Hopkins lake. After visiting the monument we have to hike 30 miles back to Harts Pass to get a ride into the big smoke.
Walking this morning was not comfortable. I began to notice yesterday that we were pushing ourselves to the very end like some strange personal pilgrimage. It was tainting my appreciation of the landscape, not being able to stop and take it in. Also it was excruciating to be this close but still be walking, then all of a sudden it is a if the forest ejected you into a strange linear meadow, there is the monument.
There is a cleared stripe of trees to denote the border along the 49th parallel. I just stared at it for a while, grinning from ear to ear, it was 8:30am. Then all of a sudden Quiz emerges from the forest and starts to tear up. We have a big hug and proceed to make whisky coffee and get photos with the monument. No Show arrives and shows us where the log book is. The 78th marker is the second statue but in by the US Government along the border, when you remove the top there is the ultimate pct log book. I write Turkey D’s first official Female Wresting advertisement!
No Show hits the road back to Harts Pass and we have some alone time at the border. All emotions on the spectrum are felt; disbelief, euphoria, sorrow, hysteria and this feeling of epic time, in terms of how much older and wiser we all feel. It also feels as though a huge weight has been lifted, we walked from Mexico to Canada and we were so dedicated to that for so long, now our tasks were small in comparison. For a second I felt invincible, even though we are far from it. It’s amazing what you can build on day by day and how that can accumulate into something ginormous.
While our path has not been continuous or in any way linear, we have had a completely different experience of the pct than compared to other years. Personal goals have been abandoned and questioned when things have never been easy or predictable. To keep hiking with the knowledge that nothing is technically ‘finished’ and making your own journey out of that was a huge challenge and humbled us to the natural environment which was at times totally inhospitable. Still finishing feels like an acceptance of our limitations and a celebration of the skills we have gained. Be kind/gentle to yourself, love your body and bask in these feelings while you can I say.