Yesterday I drove into Canada. So freakin crazy that we’re finally here. I know there are still miles owed to California, but for now we’re here!
I left Rainy Pass and made it to Manning Park in the early evening.
The Northern Cascades looked just as beautiful from Canada as from Washington.
I camped at Lightening Lake Campground, near Manning Park Resort. It was a great campground with hot showers! No quarters necessary, just all the hot water I wanted. That alone was worth the drive.
I went to sleep fairly early, mostly because I was so excited to see Steve that I wanted the time to pass quickly. I was rudely awakened at some point by the scurrying of tiny feet over the roof of the van. Then I heard scratching in the cleaning supply cupboard. Damn mice. I tell you if I could have dynamited that cabinet, I probably would have. I was up all night, shining the flashlight, opening and closing cabinets, checking and rechecking. I saw a torn up roll of paper towels but no other proof of a rodent. This morning I searched again. No sign. Set traps, wiped everything down. I’m growing weary of this routine, but I hear from other van-life-ers that field mice are just part of the experience. Sigh.
Anyway I woke early, drove to a parking area near the trail and headed off to meet Steve at the monument!
It was fairly well marked and Guthook made it easy to take the right side trails to get to the PCT. I ate some thimble berries along the way. So delicious. I crossed a few bridges
And a small pond
Then I came upon a bear on the trail ahead of me! I grabbed out my phone and was just about to snap a picture when the bear stood up. Turns out it was a lady in black rain gear, going to the bathroom. So disappointing! I still haven’t seen a bear on this trip.
I chatted with her a while, congratulated her on completing her hike and went on my way.
A bit further, I saw the French Canadian couple. They were so very excited.
They still owe forty miles to Ollalie Lake, and will go there next week, but how exciting to get to the monument after all these months.
I kept going and met Carol and Linda, coming towards me. Linda stayed at Scout and Frodo’s with us and she and I hiked together our first full day on the trail. It was crazy to see her again. We’ve kept in touch on Facebook but hadn’t seen each other again. So very fun. They’ve decided that this is the end of their adventure, not heading back to the Sierras this year.
As I kept going the trail was muddy and tree covered but everyone coming towards me had huge smiles. It was hard not to catch their excitement.
As I drew nearer the monument, I could hear it before I saw it. Hikers were cheering for other hikers as they came around the bend and saw the goal of the last few months. So fun!
Of course I was the only one coming from “the wrong direction”, but even at the end they welcomed me to experience the moment with them. The German Girls were there when I got there. And a group of young men who I’ve been seeing off and on. Cheeks and Trouble got there, so I knew Steve wasn’t too far behind since they camped together last night.
I like how you can see the cut out border in the trees. Maybe a ten foot swath is cut out for as far as you can see.
Three more hikers got there and after the cheers, the moment turned serious. One of them had been a first responder when the tree fell on Finn. He had then carried Finn’s hat the rest of the way through Washington, taking pictures and videos of it along the way. Next week, he’ll take it to Finn’s family in Germany. All the hikers at the monument gathered around and I snapped their picture with the hat. It was a sobering moment.
More hikers arrived and celebrated and began their final trek into Canada.
Steve came around the bend and it was super exciting to see him! Yes, there will be some more miles, but for today, what an amazing accomplishment. He flipping walked here. Step after step, day after day. So amazing!
We sat around for a little while, then began the walk back to the van. We celebrated again as we walked up to it, as the day’s hike was then actually complete!
Congrats you two, what a team effort!
I’ve really enjoyed reading the posts daily and seeing the amazing pictures, keep em coming (Hint hint).
Paul from London xx
Thanks Paul from London (woohoo!). We’re glad you found us. Hope you’ll continue enjoying our journey (hint, hint 🤔)
Noelle, this silly old lady read this post with tears streaming down my face. Feelings of excitement , awe, love, sadness, joy all filled my heart reading yours and Steve’s posts these last several months. I feel selfish to say I wish this wasn’t the end. As I told Steve, I’m anxious to see where life leads you. Perhaps a book? You certainly have a way with words. At times it was as if I was right there hiking/camping along.
Liz from FresnoRetro
Oh Liz. Such kindness from you! With any luck, we’ll keep on keeping on!
Thank you very much!!
Congratulations to you both! I followed you from the very beginning when I first heard about the PCT and all of the blogs. I have enjoyed and thank you for keeping up with the blog. I looked forward to it every day. I doubt that we will ever meet but if you ever come through Dallas, you have a place to stay! Admire you both!!!
Thanks Karen! This has been a wild summer outdoors. I’m still pinching myself. We’re glad you’re following along. We don’t get to Texas much but if we do….we’ll try to look you up! Hugs, Noelle
Thank you! What a wild adventure!
Steve and Noelle,
So proud of you guys for what you have endured and accomplished. I picked you up just outside of Borrego Springs and bought you a Julian Apple pie. I have been following you guys ever since. I always got up with the anticipation of reading your blog and following your adventures. It’s been a blast. What if any are your plans to go back on the missed section. Personally, I don’t want the adventure to end. Much love to you guys!
Hi Scott! Good to hear from you. You were Steve’s first ever hitch! Thank you again for the pie. It was delicious! We’re hoping and planning to get back to California. Life has its own ideas but that’s what we’re trying to do! Much love back at ya!
Congrats! One question though: I thought you weren’t allowed to walk across the border to the monument from Canada?
Hi Ian, I think you’re right in that you can’t just start your hike in Canada there. American South-bounders go to Hart’s Pass, Hike up thirty miles, tag the border and then hike back. Also North-bounders without a permit did that too. For me, all I did was hike in and then stay at the border, then hike back out. It’s about a 16 mile round trip but it hardly seemed far at all because of all the excitement.
You are correct.