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Day 161-165: Canada!

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Day 161: Stehekin (Mile 2580)-South of Porcupine Creek (Mile 2600.5); 20.5 miles

We caught the morning bus out of Stehekin and were soon back on the Pacific Crest Trail, walking the final section. We passed vine maples changing colors, crossed rushing rivers, and walked through groves of large cedar trees.

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Walking almost until dark, we caught glimpses of the sunset through gaps in the forest. It was strange to consider that these were our last few days on the trail. We had become accustomed to the incredible beauty and simplicity of life in the backcountry.

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Day 162: South of Porcupine Creek (Mile 2600.5)-Ridge Above Glacier Pass (Mile 2623); 22.5 miles

Early on, we came across a dusky grouse, large and plump, sitting in the trail. When it noticed us, it flew into a nearby tree.

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Switchbacks brought us up to a pass, where the larch trees were turning a fantastic shade of yellow.

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In the evening, we tackled a 2500 foot climb, our last ascent of this magnitude on the PCT. Setting up camp at 6800 feet, we warmed ourselves with a pot of oatmeal. The sun set as a bright full moon rose over blazing yellow larches.

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Day 163: Ridge Above Glacier Pass (Mile 2623)-Near Goat Lakes (Mile 2645.5); 22.5 miles

Clouds filled the morning sky, which made for a colorful sunrise above the mountains surrounding us. What a way to wake up!

The day got better still when we reached Hart’s Pass, where Gondo and his father Chuck had set up tasty trail magic. Many hikers partook, including Kegel, Gilch, Tangent, Holstein, Lunchbox, H-Bomb, Bobcat, Blue Girl, and U-Haul. All of us were keen to enjoy each other’s company before we parted ways.

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Hiking on under cloudy skies, we noticed a few drops of rain. The larches continued to delight us, their yellow needles even more vivid against a grey backdrop.

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There was a final treat in store for us today: a marten! This was the first marten we had ever seen, and we were very excited to watch it stretch its long, lithe body.

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Day 164: Near Goat Lakes (Mile 2645.5)-PCT Camp (Mile 2664); 18.5 miles

It rained a bit overnight, but by morning the fog and billowing clouds were beginning to clear. The changing weather made the mountain peaks even more dramatic than usual.

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After lunch, the PCT dropped into a densely vegetated forest for several miles. Then, suddenly, the trail curved and the US-Canadian border, the PCT monument, and our friends Bobcat and Blue Girl came into view.

For us, this trip was more about the journey than the finish line, so we both felt a jumble of emotions. We were sad that we would no longer be living outdoors, but happy to have hiked every step of the PCT.

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We did it!

Day 165: PCT Camp (Mile 2664)-Manning Park, BC, Canada (Mile 2668) + 1 mile off trail to bus; 5 miles

Yesterday we crossed the Canadian border, but the trail continues a few miles into Canada. We hiked the remaining distance in frigid morning air. As we walked, the trail transformed from a narrow path through the forest to a gravel road, and eventually we reached a smoothly paved highway. We had left the wilderness.

A couple hours later, we boarded a bus to Vancouver. Our walk from Mexico to Canada had been an incredible experience, but also a draining one. We were looking forward to resting, and beginning work on a landscape photo book of the Pacific Crest Trail. Shutterbug reserved his best photographs for the book and did not post them on the blog, so if you enjoyed the photos here, the book will be even better.

To be notified when the book is available, please enter your email address below, then hit “Submit”.

Thanks everyone for your support on this amazing adventure. Hike on!

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116 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bernie Banet #

    Congratulations on finishing this incredible journey! Thanks for taking us along via the blog. We look forward to the book. Now, on to your next trail!.
    Love,
    Bernie

    October 1, 2012
    • Thank you Bernie! Working on the book will take us back through the hike in a really satisfying way. We are thinking about our future plans and have some exciting ideas!

      October 4, 2012
  2. Lindsey #

    Congrats!!!! I’ve loved following your journey and can’t wait for the book. I might have to pick your brains when I get around to planning my hike :)

    Enjoy your rest and embarking on a new homestate adventure! (I think I recall reading something a long time ago about Colorado…)

    Cheers,
    Lindsey

    October 1, 2012
  3. Jan #

    What a journey! Thanks for taking us along through the blog. We very much look forward to seeing the book, though it’s hard to imagine the pictures can be any better than what we’ve seen here. Onward to new adventures!

    October 1, 2012
    • We’ve really enjoyed having so many people along for the hike, via the blog. Reading everyone’s comments, yours included, energized us as we walked.

      The photos in the book really will be even better, and my hope is that the reader will get a deep sense of what it feels like to walk the whole trail.

      October 4, 2012
  4. Charles #

    Hearty congrats! Now, turn around and walk to Patagonia. Love the pic of the Marten – i was lucky enough to see one while hiking Longs Peak this summer but had zero chance to capture the little rusty red killer on film.

    Cant wait to see the book as the photo’s youve posted have been consistently outstanding.

    October 1, 2012
    • Thanks Charles! We’d love to visit Patagonia. Maybe we need to do a walking world tour. Cool that you found a marten in the Rockies too. The Cascades and Rockies must have similar climates.

      Glad you like the photographs! We have even better ones ready for the book, and we will make sure the book’s quality is high enough to do the photographs justice. Putting the book together will probably be somewhat like the PCT: challenging and very exciting.

      October 4, 2012
  5. Barb #

    You two are amazing! We loved every word and every photo of your blog. We look forward to hearing about whatever comes next.

    October 1, 2012
  6. congratufrickinlations y’all!!!

    October 1, 2012
  7. Margaret #

    So, I was crying as you ended…

    Can’t figure out where, but do sign me up for a book!

    October 1, 2012
    • We were sad too, but also excited to look forward to new adventures in the future.

      If you go to our website (not your email notification), you’ll see a box near the bottom of this post to type your email address.

      October 4, 2012
  8. Allen Edwards #

    Congratulations. Wow, we just missed you in Vancouver as we left there on Saturday. What a wonderful adventure you just had. Good luck with the book. Gayle just finished a book about walking the PCT.

    October 1, 2012
    • Thanks Allen! Too bad we missed you in Vancouver. We love it, really the perfect place to go after the hike. I’ll begin work on the photo book soon. The PCT is getting lots of attention recently through Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild. It’s an exciting time for the trail!

      October 4, 2012
  9. Congratulations! I have enjoyed following your journey and have thought about you often as I go about my days. I look forward to seeing the book!

    October 1, 2012
  10. Suzanne in berkeley #

    Congratulations! Looking forward to the book. So cool that you got to see the marten. And what a classic pose,. However, Cheep cheep was the best rail critter of all!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your trip with us. Cheers!

    October 1, 2012
    • Thanks Suzanne! Cheep cheep did a great job keeping us company on the trail. It’s our pleasure to share. We are very gratified that we could bring a bit of wilderness into people’s lives.

      October 4, 2012
  11. bsjdancer #

    You did it!!! We are so incredibly excited and proud of you both. Rich, Jim and I are grilling out tonight for dinner and toasting the both of you. Congratulations!!! What a cool experience, one that you will always remember. Can’t wait to give you both a giant hug and make you a huge feast! Love ya, Cindy :)

    October 1, 2012
    • Thank you Cindy! And thanks to you and Jim for all your support, which was wonderful and crucial. The cupcakes and cookies were amazing too. We can’t wait to visit you and share stories!

      October 4, 2012
  12. Suzanne in berkeley #

    Trail critter, that is…

    October 1, 2012
  13. Mike #

    You guys are awesome. Thanks for one of my favorite blogs on the PCT this year. Congrats!

    Portland PCT Section Hiker Mike (GoalTech)

    October 1, 2012
    • Cheers Mike! We’re really happy you are so into the blog. It’s a labor of love for us. We have more posts in the works, like some gear reviews, and we’re looking forward to more adventures in the future!

      October 4, 2012
  14. RK #

    Congratulations! Thanks for letting us be armchair hikers with you.

    October 1, 2012
  15. Elif #

    what an amazing trip … it’s weird for me to think of you guys not being on the trail! congratulations, and thanks for taking us along the way :)

    October 1, 2012
    • Thanks Elif! It’s strange for us too. Sleeping in a bed, in a room, in a city, is very different. Our muscles are recovering, but we are already itching for more wilderness!

      October 4, 2012
  16. uh, you’re still going to be sending out posts every few days, right???
    but seriously, glad you both made it all the way through and unscathed.

    October 1, 2012
  17. Kelly Grittner #

    Congratulations. There is a wonderful Estonian word for “that which leaves you breathless” – the word is Ooskamatu. Your adventure and your pictures have been breathtaking – I can only imagine what it was like for the two of you. Ooskamatu!

    Kelly Grittner
    Armstrong, B.C.

    October 1, 2012
    • That’s a beautiful word, thanks for sharing! We certainly had breathless moments on the trail, and not just from all the climbing. We hope our posts here will encourage others to venture into the wilderness and experience their own ooskamatu!

      October 4, 2012
  18. Wow, what a journey! I half expected both of you to just keep hiking and camping on all the cross-country trails! It has been such a joy to read your blog the whole way. I can’t wait for the book, and to give you big hugs in person.

    October 1, 2012
    • It has been incredible, and we can’t wait to get out into the wilderness again after our bodies recover! But the book comes first, which should be a fun challenge of its own. So glad you loved the blog. It looks like your recovery is going well. We’re really happy about that. Hopefully we will cross paths somewhere soon for the big hugs!

      October 4, 2012
  19. karl jorgensen #

    just wanted to say you brought back so many memories for me. Congratz on finishing and thank you for all the wonderful photos

    jorgy pct 2006

    October 1, 2012
  20. Rich B #

    Woo hoo! Thank you for sharing your adventure. You’ve lived my dream.

    October 1, 2012
  21. Joe Sofranko #

    We are soo proud of you!!!! Such an extraordinary journey and achievement. I can’t believe that in April you two were eating tacos in LA with us, and then you straight up WALKED NORTH and now you’re in Canada. It’s unreal. Eat a lot. Rest a lot. We miss you, and we look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you for taking us on the journey with you…best blog ever!!! :)

    Love,
    Lili and Joe

    October 1, 2012
    • Thanks guys! We still can’t quite believe we are in a different country, but it must be true. The accent is different and everything is in kilometers! Hopefully we can see you both very soon. We need more tacos!

      October 4, 2012
  22. John #

    I’ve really enjoyed following your adventure and the beautiful images. Congratulations from the UK

    October 1, 2012
  23. Julie #

    Speechless….have been following you the whole way! Thanks for taking us on your journey with you!
    Sending love from StL!

    October 1, 2012
  24. Nick S. #

    Congratulations on a great adventure and thank you for the wonderful pictures and blog. This was a good year to do the PCT and it was a pleasure to follow along. The photos of the yellow larches of the Pasayten and of the border monument brought back a flood of memories. I look forward to the book and really appreciate your support of the Nature Conservancy.

    October 1, 2012
    • Thanks Nick! It really was the perfect year. Our eyes were wide with amazement the whole way. Glad you share our appreciation for The Nature Conservancy. Time to start work on the book!

      October 4, 2012
  25. Anne Estoppey #

    Congratulations Anna and Chris! And thank you so much for sharing your adventures on the PCT! Looking forward to the book :-)

    October 1, 2012
  26. Noam Gal #

    Congratulations on finishing your hike. I was sorry I only bumped into your blog late in the season (only several posts ago), but I really enjoyed following along those posts until you reached the finish line.

    October 2, 2012
  27. Brenda Bertsch #

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I wish you many more!

    October 2, 2012
  28. Sasha Edwards #

    Beautiful, breathtaking, moving. Thank you so much for letting us follow you on your journey.
    Can’t wait for the book!

    October 2, 2012
    • We are glad you found so much depth in the things we shared here, Sasha. It sounds like the experience really came across. Hopefully the book will be just as evocative!

      October 4, 2012
  29. Tel #

    What an amazing journey. I really enjoyed traveling “along” with ya’ll and am almost sad it’s over…

    October 2, 2012
  30. Jane Alexander #

    Amazing!!! Congratulations on your outward and inward journeys. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

    Jane

    October 2, 2012
    • Thanks Jane! Your mention of an inner journey as well as an outer one, is definitely true. The trail has changed us, though it may take time to really understand how. Such an adventure!

      October 4, 2012
  31. Sabrina K. #

    Fantabulous! BRAVO, way to go! Have so, so enjoyed your journey and yes, thanks for sharing with us your journey and experiences. Best to you and may the transitioning back into your other world go smoothly and be just as beautiful!

    October 2, 2012
    • Thanks Sabrina! It is strange to be back in a faster world that is full of right angles, but we are enjoying it too. We’re really glad you liked the blog so much!

      October 4, 2012
  32. Mary Lou Krekeler #

    Congratulations! – Thank you for sharing your incredible travels with us all.
    Mary Lou

    October 2, 2012
  33. John #

    Congratulations!…Thank you for sharing your trip with all the rest of us. Very enjoyable!

    October 2, 2012
  34. Denise #

    I too, am a jumble of emotion at your incredible journey and the finish of it. Congrats on all the miles and good times in the wilderness and best of luck on all that’s ahead for you. Can’t wait to see your photo book!

    October 2, 2012
  35. Wonderful, guys! I’ve really enjoyed your journey and look forward to the book. If you folks get near ChrisBug’s family in Media, please email me. I’d so love to see you! Gene

    October 2, 2012
  36. Dante Rodriguez #

    what? You’re all done? now what am i going to read on bart, if not your trail blog? ? Well, you can read mine now, i suppose, although i am just a weekend warrior, so my posts dont come as often. Congrats, you awesome stellar hikers, you!

    October 2, 2012
  37. Susan Mates #

    What an amazing journey! I’m feeling withdrawal pangs to know that I no longer get to look forward to reading about your adventures. It’s been inspiring. Congratulations on completing the trail, and best wishes for the next chapters.

    October 2, 2012
  38. Congrats. I really enjoyed following along.

    October 2, 2012
  39. Monika #

    Wow…you did it! I have really enjoyed “hiking” with you. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

    October 2, 2012
  40. Ian Wolcott #

    Congratulations from San Francisco! It’s been a great pleasure to follow your progress this summer. Thank you so much for sharing the journey with us. Godspeed!

    October 2, 2012
  41. Georgette Theotig #

    Congratulations to you both! What an extraordinary accomplishment! I have so enjoyed your photos and gentle descriptions of your life on the trail. I know you are happy to finsh, but I am sad this adventure is over. Best wishes for your book, and all that you do.

    October 2, 2012
    • Thank you Georgette! We too have mixed feelings: we are happy to rest, but sad to leave the wilderness. We are excited for future adventures, and to work on the book!

      October 4, 2012
  42. Brent #

    Congrats! I’ve been reading since the beginning and will miss the updates!!!

    October 2, 2012
  43. Mary #

    Congratulations! An incredible accomplishment! I’ll miss your postings. It’s been so much fun to tag along. Thank you!!

    October 2, 2012
  44. Will #

    Greetings from Toronto. Congratulations on completing one incredible journey and best of luck with your next exciting one. I just started following your travels with your penultimate posting but was so intrigued I read through the previous 5 months in one sitting. Can’t wait to see the book when it is released.

    October 2, 2012
  45. Thanks for allowing us to come along on your trek. Congratulations on the completion of your amazing journey and best of luck as you begin the next phase of your life.

    October 2, 2012
  46. Drew Kraisinger #

    Awesome! Glad that the trip was so eventful. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    October 2, 2012
  47. Congrats! Followed your blog during our own journey and were hoping we could catch up to meet you guys! Well, missed you by just a day or two as we finished on 10/1. Awesome blog and can’t wait to hear about the photo book! -Shivers & BAM (Bust a move) (alongerwalk.tumblr.com)

    October 2, 2012
  48. Chris Cummings Aka. Oregon #

    Congratulations! !!!! Hope you have a great winter as well.

    October 3, 2012
  49. Kit #

    Congratulations you two! I wish you well in the transition;)

    October 3, 2012
    • Thanks Kit! I think it helps to have the book as a project to focus our energy, and relive the trip as we look through all the photos. We are also looking at future adventures, which is always fun. Hope everything is great for you and Jacob!

      October 4, 2012
  50. Mary "Cordy" Coles #

    Congratulations to both of you. This is truly an amazing achievment.

    October 3, 2012
  51. Sally, friend of Jim's #

    Read every word, enjoyed every mile, loved every photo. Here’s to your courage to live your life large as you go and not defer to the “bucket list”.

    October 4, 2012
    • Thats’s a lot of enjoyment! Thanks for reading. We decided it was time to do something focused, intense, and harder than anything we’d done before, but also something wild and beautiful. The PCT was all that and more!

      October 4, 2012
  52. Congratulations and well done!!!

    October 4, 2012
  53. Johanna #

    Congratulations!! You two are truly a source of inspiration, well done :)

    October 6, 2012
  54. Thanks for taking us along! well done. great journey, awesome pics, fun times.

    October 7, 2012
  55. Asaph #

    Congratulations! Was feeling bummed at work today and reading your stories and looking at your photos put a smile on my face as usual :)

    October 8, 2012
  56. I must send a heartfelt congratulations to the both of you! I have enjoyed your photos, tales and positive energy that comes across in your smiles and words throughout your journey. Wishing you both a smooth transition into the wilds of society, culture shock is real and nothing to take lightly :) Really looking forward to your book. Cheers!!

    October 9, 2012
  57. Chris #

    It has been such a pleasure to follow you both on this adventure. Truly impressive—Congratulations!

    I look forward to the book. Could you repost the link to be on the mailing list?
    I could not connect via the posted link.

    October 9, 2012
  58. Debi Holcombe #

    Congratulations North Star and Shutterbug! May your journey’s memories be forever in your hearts. Your Ashland, Oregon trail angel, Debi

    November 4, 2012
    • Thanks again for your generous assistance in Ashland! You’re one of our favorite trail angels. People like you are part of what made our thru hike such an amazing experience.

      November 5, 2012

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