Day 165: My PCT Finish!

Thurs. 10/3/13
8 miles + 8 back (Miles 2668.1 – 2660.1)
Gibson Road – Monument 78

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WOO-HOO! I MADE IT TO CANADA!

I kind of wish I could say I was a rebel, but I just wasn’t comfortable with pushing my luck, unfortunately. I didn’t break any laws by powering through the last 30 miles of a federally shut down national park. Gah… so dumb. Our group was warned already not to enter with appropriate actions taken if we did. We even tried to give the rangers a sort-of ultimatum – “it’s either this trail or we head back up in three feet of snow north of Rainy Pass.” As it turns out, the PCT is closed there, too. Shoot! Even that strategy was shot down. We were all exhausted… not just from hiking in snow and pavement only to be stopped after both tiring events, but mentally we were all done. We did what we could. It was time to finish our PCT hikes the best way we all individually knew how and start dreaming up our next grand adventure. 

Since we were cut a day short on our alternate route, Tears and I decided we’d use that time to head to the northern terminus monument, which is a16-mile round trip hike. Whoa… a day hike, basically? Awesome!

So after getting into Canada very late, we got to a hotel where we slept only a few hours, woke up and drove a couple more hours to Manning Park. We jumped on the trail at about 10am and hiked our way, tiredly, up the trail. It was a wide trail leading up to Windy Joe Mountain, and the trail was clear of snow, but wet. As we climbed we saw more and more snow accumulation, the deepest being arounf 6″. The sun peeked out on and off, melting the snow clumps that heavily hung off pine branches. It was a winter wonderland with those heavy snow clumps plopping down in the forest, along the trail, and even down the back of my neck a couple of times. Brr!

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Big ol' snow clumps! Such a pretty snowy scene!

Once at the Windy Joe Mountain trail junction, we started a gradual descend, and then Lionheart came up behind us! It was SO good to see her! We were both kind of hoping we’d see other hikers to share the moment with. As we hiked on, Tears and I were both sleep deprived, exhausted, and it was tough to really put our feelings into perspective. I silently tried really hard to figure out what I felt. This was a pretty big deal. I was hiking south to the monument, but I was still unsure if I’d go back and hike more or not. I just kind of felt numb about it all… and tired. I hoped I’d see that monument and it would all come together.

And it did.

We rounded a bend and came to a small opening. There it stood. Large wooden tiers with small American and Canadian flags sticking out from one tier, a large Pacific Crest Trail sign on another, and “Northern Terminus” written on another. Behind the monument was a line cut through the trees to clearly show the international border between US and Canada. It was snowy, too, so it really stood out from the dark forest of pines all around it. We were here. We made it. My PCT hike was done. I felt happy. I felt sad. I felt satisfied. And I was so glad I hiked here. It provided some closure after such a crazy series of such tiring events over the past week. What a totally unique finish to a very amazing journey.

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I hugged the crap out of this monument...

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...and gave it the kiss I owed it.

At the monument, Tears, Lionheart and I took photos, ate our last fatty delicious trail snacks (candy bars and Hostess pies), and drank celebratory drinks. I carried in a bottle of my mom’s homemade chokecherry cordial, which she calls “Hoochie Mamma.” We passed it around – it was deliciously fantastic. A little while later, Dr. Slosh and Smiles showed up and popped a bottle of champagne, too. There were times when we’d all be talking and laughing, then suddenly we’d all fall silent and just stare at that monument. It was starting to sink in.

I just thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.

I’ve got more processing to do, and I’ll do my best to share it here. Tomorrow the adventure continues because Aloha and I are going to meet Cuddles and Atlas as they road-walk to Manning Park. I may even hike with them a bit.

Sleep. Yes.


Tonight I love the PCT. ♥

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Manning Park... almost there!

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Wouldn't it be something?

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Pretty!

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Mushrooms!

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Hoochie-mamma!

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A few more finish shots...

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Aaaaah. I made it.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

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16 thoughts on “Day 165: My PCT Finish!

  1. Congratulations Robin & Rachel! Couldn’t be more proud of you two and your accomplishment! Monday i used your weighted gloves in Kickboxing and thought of you the whole time i was kicking ass.;) There’s a bunch of big boxes here in Oshkosh who love ya! and miss ya! Rock on Girls!!! \m/

  2. I’ve followed you from the beginning and heartily congratulate you on such an awesome accomplishment. Your blog has kept me entertained and envious for months. I think I’ll go into withdrawal now. I’m sure you’ll have some of that too.

  3. Yes! YES!!! YEEEEEESSSSSS!!!! Massively huge congratulations!!! Just to echo lizziekat, I’m totally shedding tears of happiness!! I KNEW you would see that monument. Wow. 2,660 miles in the bag. Unbelievable!

    I’ve heard from previous PCT thru-hikers that the “meaning” of their PCT experience doesn’t hit them until much, much later. I say savor this moment as much as you can. You just accomplished something so many people can only dream of. Enjoy every second of today.

    You are an incredible inspiration. And I’m pretty sure that now, you can do anything. :)

  4. All the challenges at the end will be more poignant and adventurous in retrospect. This is about the experience, not accomplishment. I’ve enjoyed your writing and photos. You have a wonderful record of the hike. I’m kind of sad to see it end.

  5. So Awesome!!! I have watched your entire trip all summer long! I couldn’t believe the park closures!!! OH MY GOSH. But you did it! Thanks for the incredible adventure team Disco Pickle!

  6. wow congrats to you all. I loved all the pictures (although, these last ones I didn’t get.) Also liked all your commentary to go with the pics!!

  7. No pictures today! What happened? You are such an amazing photographer…I don’t want to miss a one. You need to put this into a book. Your description of your emotions is so powerfully touching! Congratulations on a job VERY well done!

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