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[pct-l] PCT Hike Update
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* by our guest Ke Kaahawe <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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Here we go again…
Greetings from Sisters, OR!
We made it to Canada at long last, crossing the border on Fri 17th. Felt really good to achieve that milestone. In fact, for Ellen, it felt awesome, for she has decided that Canada is the end of her trip. 1000 miles and one international border will do just fine. In order to finish the trail this season, it will be necessary to hike continuously at 20+ miles a day, and she is not enjoying that pace. She nearly left at Snoqualmie, and again at Stevens Pass, but decided that Canada was a worthy goal, and persevered. I’m really proud of her hanging in the way she did. It’s going to be a lonely 1600 miles to Mexico.
So I am in Sisters, OR, waiting for the PO to open on Monday morning. (No Saturday hours!!!) At least I’ll be able to day hike a 17 mile stretch between Santiam and McKenzie Passes tomorrow, assuming the hitchhiking is accomplished without a hitch. The town of Sisters lets you camp in their park, so that is where I will be Sat and Sun nights. Last night I splurged for the Comfort Inn and its jacuzzi. Boy, did that ever feel good on the legs. Plus I got to watch some of the Ryder Cup.
Currently sitting in a very nice, chic internet cafe on Main Street, drinking chic chai tea. It is a blustery but sunny day here, and it’s hard for me to know what to do with all this time on my hands, I’m usually so busy in town.
The trail north of Snoqualmie was some of the most scenic. We had a day and a half of rain going into Stevens Pass, and got quite wet, but were able to dry out in a motel in Skykomish. Otherwise, no rain for 17 days. Glacier Peak was the last volcano and the last worry for snow. Red Pass provided a fun quarter-mile glissade, and Fire Creek Pass required a little rock scrambling to get around a short, nasty piece of ice. Otherwise, snow was of no concern. And the best news yet…. the bugs have gone!!! It’s either getting too chilly, or, as in the case of the last 90 miles to Canada, too hot and dry. Finally sent the head net home with Ellen.
The resort of Stehekin on Lake Chelan was a nice stay. The bakery there was a thru-hiker’s ultimate dream. Met many northbound thru-hikers who started at Mexico, most passing us in the last week. You could see the end of the trail in their eyes (and their strides). Leap-frogged the last 10 days or so with Joanne “Go Forth” and had the pleasure of meeting her husband Monty at Rainy Pass (he had fruit). She jumped up from Crater Lake to Snoqualmie, afraid that the weather might prevent her from reaching Canada. She is now hiking south from Snoqualmie.
>From the Canadian border, we hiked the last 8 miles to Manning Park Lodge, catching the evening Greyhound into Vancouver, BC. We befriended a young woman who was travelling to a local climbing spot north of the city. As we got into Vancouver late on a Friday night, we all decided to split a motel room – lodging is tight in the city on weekends. Tight is right – a nice taxi driver drove us to probably 10 hotels and motels, all full. Even the youth hostel and YMCA were full. The driver thinks of one last chance, a hotel that is not listed in the yellow pages. They have a couple rooms left, over the dance club. We grab a bite to eat at 11:30 pm, then lie down to the THUMP, THUMP of the music, which lasted ‘till 2. Luckily, we were all so tired, it only took a couple songs before we were asleep.
>From Vancouver, Ellen and I took the Amtrak down to Portland. I’ve got to say, trains are a great way to travel. We got into Portland at 9pm, and thought “here we go again.” This time, however, the Thrifty Lodge had plenty of room and were friendly, and thrifty. We spent Sunday morning running errands in Portland, taking busses to and fro, doing laundry, equipment shopping, and book shopping at Powell’s City of Books. If you are ever in Portland, you must visit Powell’s. Plus we got to visit the Portland Saturday Market (Sundays, too!). What a great city.
Ellen took an afternoon flight back to Sacramento, and I took a greyhound the next day to Government Camp, near Mt. Hood. Making good mileage in the low 20s, hope to push that up to 25 in the next week or so. If I can get a few weeks in at 25 miles per day, I should make Tahoe before any serious snow. Three Sisters mountains are next, Crater Lake in a week. Next A-1, for sure, can’t miss mail drop will be Ashland in 2 weeks (General Delivery, Ashland, OR 97520).
E-mail back before Monday, I will check mail about 8am, before the PO opens.
Mike (missing Ellen)
Ke Kaahawe, PCT99!
Mexico<--Walker Pass-->Carson Pass<--Mt Hood-->Canada
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