I had another chat to Jim today. You can listen using the player below:
I am safely in Manning Park, Canada. Getting here involved two exhausting and exhilarating days of snow shoeing through sometimes waist deep snow from Harts Pass. I am totally shattered but I have never felt more alive.
I have so much to write and so many photos to share but for now I need to rest and recover. I will update this post when I can and will detail the last week in blog posts.
Some highlights include sleeping in an out house to escape a blizzard, learning to snow shoe, being in a white out, face planting 6 miles from the border and spending 40 minutes crying uncontrollably in the arms of new friends after walking 2668 miles. It has been a journey.
I am writing from Snoqualmie, almost exactly half way through Washington and just 258 miles from Canada. It should take about 10 days of walking to get there. It is strange to suddenly be so close to the end of the trip. I have been starting to plan my travels in Canada which has been impossible until recently with the enormity of the walk obscuring the future.
The weather has been unseasonably good and the forecast looks favourable for the next week. It is however very cold in the mornings and evenings. Yesterday I woke up after a cold night to frost all over the ground and my tent, and then walked over frozen mud past ponds covered in layers of ice. It also gets dark earlier which means I have been night hiking most days. This could probably be avoided if I got up and out earlier but it is so hard to get out of a warm sleeping bag on a cold morning!
My mind and body are very much looking forward to a rest and regroup once I get to Canada but I know I will probably also be sad to have finished the walk. For now, its time to wrap up warm and enjoy the end of the journey.
Every now and then we come across 'trail magic'. This is usually treats left for hikers by someone with an interest in the trail or by someone who has hiked before and knows how it can brighten up a dull day.
There was a lot of trail magic in Southern California and some already in Washington. Sometimes the trail magic is empty but there is usually at least a log book where you can see how far ahead other hikers are and leave messages for each other.
A few days ago I came across a white bucket that had just been restocked a few hours earlier. I had a packet of Starbursts and sat and read the log book. There was even a bit of trail mail in there for me!
Thanks to all the trail angels who help us along the way!
On her way home from Europe, my Mum stopped to join me for a few days. She met me just south of Crater Lake with a ton of food. My hiker hunger failed to live up to the hype and we had a bit of a problem on our shoulders with more food than we could carry. Luckily a bunch of thru-hikers showed up and we were able to feed them!
Mum walked with me around Crater Lake and then yellow blazed (hitch-hiked) north while I got in some miles. Mum then joined me again for three days walking through to Elk Lake. She impressed everyone by walking 22 miles on only her third day on the trail! She also got bitten on the elbow by a spider but thankfully didn't have a serious reaction.
I met up with Mum for a third time in Bend where we sorted out my resupply packages for Washington. It was great to see Mum and to be able to share the trail experience with her. It put me a few miles behind but at the end of the day people are much more important than miles!
For the next section of my walk I have decided to try eating only cold food. Some hikers don't carry cook sets to save on weight and time. I met a south bounder last week who was doing this and it brought the idea back to the forefront of my mind.
Another contributing factor is the fact that much of the food I have been cooking I no longer enjoy eating. I have a growing black list of food that I can no longer stomach. It includes the dreaded 'Pasta Roni', Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and now the brother of 'Pasta Roni', 'Rice a Roni' has been added to the list. I also struggle with peanuts on their own and I think by the end of this trip I will have eaten my last Snickers bar!
So tomorrow the experiment begins. I found a good supermarket here in Ashland where I was able to buy all sorts of things that don't require cooking - bars, packets of tuna, salami, bread, nutella, cheese, pop tarts, dried mango, dates, cookies, chips and the like. It will be interesting to see how it works out and if I will miss the ritual (and warmth) of cooked food. I won't be sending the cook set home just yet.
Map (View larger)
Recent Check-ins (View all)
21 I made it.
15 About to catch the last bus for the season out of Stehekin and planning to walk out of America in four days time on the last day of my visa...
09 It looks like some bad weather is finally on the way. My rain gear might actually get some use! Tough climbs ahead but getting closer to Canada each day and with great group of fellow stragglers.
22 Quick stop in Cascade Locks to shower, do laundry, resupply, eat and 'rest'. Across the Bridge of the Gods, over the mighty Columbia river, into Washington today - the first day of autumn.
13 Resupply for Washington all sorted with some help from Mum, who is visiting on her way home from Europe. Now it is time to escape Bend and resume the race to Canada.
Photos (View all)
30 True to the thru (Part 4 of 4)
30 The waiting game (Part 3 of 4)
30 Something was wrong (Part 2 of 4)
30 A story that needs to be told (Part 1 of 4)
21 "I knew Typo would make it" (Part 6 of 6)
19 Throwing the Hail Mary (Part 5 of 6)
10 Up and down, but not out (Part 4 of 6)
06 Crossing Cutthroat Pass (Part 3 of 6)
03 Warming up in Winthrop (Part 2 of 6)
30 We're sleeping in a toilet (Part 1 of 6)
25 Another radio interview (Audio)
21 I made it
04 Nearly there
29 Trail Magic
19 Walking with Mum
28 Cold food
28 Hello Oregon!
20 40 miles in one day
08 Official trail name: Typo
06 (Humbolt) Summit Fever
06 Road walking around a wildfire
30 Two trail birthdays
18 A picture is worth...
10 Pain and gain in the Sierra
28 Hiker hunger
27 The inquisitive marmot
19 Stage one survived
05 Live from the Mojave (Updated)
04 I just walked 500 miles...
31 Current nemesis: Poodle dog bush
23 Mexico to McDonald's
23 Gear review: Sleeping pad
18 Hot and getting even hotter
10 People on the trail: Sunset
05 Eagle Rock
03 Hiker discount: 100%
30 The beginning
25 Final preparation
17 Blogging along the way
16 No publicity is bad publicity
08 Walking before the walk
08 Maps for the trail