Miles today: 20
Trail miles sum: 2016.8
SOBO Trail location: 1322.8
Elevation: 5051
Spinning on the turntable: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466. Seong-Jin Cho

While I was hiking in the afternoon I had cell reception for a few moments.

PCT Southbound
River crossings

I saw 30+ messages that were bouncing around between my siblings. The week was not progressing as effectively or as rapidly as we had hoped for moving my parents towards assisted living. I sat on a rock, in the glorious sunshine, on the side of a mountain, and swapped messages with my siblings. I then hiked on.

PCT Southbound
2000 miles

Earlier today I hit a milestone. 2000 miles. The silence in the forest was absolute. I loved it. It was so different than the 1000 mile experience. Today, hitting 2000 miles filled me with appreciation that I’m still here, able to hike, and healthy.

Yesterday was about proving to myself that I could still crank out the miles. Today was contemplative. The music was more meditative, my thoughts more contemplative.

As Noelle and I walked to the van together she filled me in on the phone calls and messages that I had missed during the day that were related to my parents.

I looked around the trail and decided this location would do, this is a good spot to terminate our PCT thru-hike attempt.

We lost the weather window in the Sierra last week, it’s already snowing and hikers are exiting the trail. I can’t continue to hike in good conscience knowing that I have no chance of completing the trail this year. If I wish to complete the trail, it will be in a year other than this year.

We reached the van and shed our packs. I told Noelle I was done. Noelle was stunned when I said it was time to spread Buddy’s remaining ashes and call it a day.

We walked back out onto the trail about a quarter mile and selected a good tree. We chatted about Buddy and then spread his remaining ashes.

Honoring hiker-trash tradition we drank from our shoes. Noelle went first and I learned what to do:

PCT Southbound
Noelle shoe drinking

clean the shoe before pouring the beverage into it! I removed my shoe, removed the insert, banged out the sand and dirt and then poured in my beverage. It wasn’t bad!

PCT Southbound
Steve shoe drinking

Boom! (Dear Chainsaw Manlove, the ball is in your court! Please feel free to post your shoe drinking picture in the comments below! Actually, we’re game to see any shoe drinking pictures that any of our readers are willing to share!)

PCT Southbound
A bittersweet moment

And so, today, on day 192, after a unremarkable, yet remarkable day of hiking, we called it a wrap on our 2019 PCT thru-hike attempt.

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