01/09/15 34 miles completed in the drizzle, wind and at one time sleet. The clouds lifted slightly during the day to reveal stunning, almost Scotland like scenery that fitted well with the conditions. It was a lot milder than yesterday but still wet and cold. I couldn’t stop giggling at one stage as each time, moments before I went through the ‘vegetation that flopped and lined the paths’ (most of the last 15 miles), there was a shower – just so the leaves were loaded up with the most amount of water to soak the clothes 😀 brrrr
Nonetheless……… I MADE iT!!!! I got to the Canadian border by 4pm and Manning Park 9miles later. It just hasn’t sunk in yet although I am filled with many emotions. Happy to have completed what I thought that I couldn’t, extremely sad that the brilliant journey is over, excited that it means that my next adventure can begin …. and much much more. Over 2550 miles across the mountains carrying my home, food and water on my back; snow storms, rain, desert, sun, hail, mountains, hills, conversations…. so much that so few would understand unless they have done it. But I made it, in one piece, wishing that I had done it many years ago. I will write my summary reflections over the next couple of days…. whilst I wait for my earlier flight home.
31/08/15 wind, rain (Washington styleee) and more rain meant that the days hike was slow and difficult. Numb fingers and toes that hurt, made crossing the rocky terrain hard and many falls were had. This combination meant that I needed to stop more to eat and refuel before the next section – if only I hadn’t sent my extra warm clothes to Manning park! Nonetheless, 30 miles were completed and setting up camp was a slow process. Cold ramin for dinner as I just wanted to sleep and try to get warmed up. The night was noisy from the howling wind, cold and very damp/wet. Not the ideal ‘last night of the trek’.
30/08/15 I woke up not knowing if highway 20 was going to open and therefore if I was going to be able to get back on trail. However, after many checking phone calls, at 12 noon, Highway 20 was opened. However, the next problem faced and to be overcome was getting from the bus to the trail head ….. Before I knew it, the bus driver offered to drive me there after his work shift. I hadn’t asked… but he offered. I was literally blown away by his genuine kindness and the huge luck. This meant that a) I would be back on trail on the same day b) it would mean that I could actually complete it and get to the end – something that didn’t look likely 24 hours earlier. 70 miles each way he drove – a simply stunning man in more ways than one.
So, back on the trail and I was able to get to the top of hill number 1 before dark.
29/08/15 rain Washington styleeee started today and an eventful night at the top of the pass last night. One particular incident was when an animal decided to jump and sit on my hip during the night. Of course I jumped and subsequently all that was heard was the thump thump thump of heavy paws scampering down the path. I am not sure who got the biggest fright 😀.
But to Steven’s pass I arrived in plenty of time to have a huge burger and OMG THE best garlic fries EVER (oh and beer too). Following my fill I decided to hitch to the nearest town to recharge. I was picked up by the loveliest lady who took me to Seattle to stay the night at her friends. This is another wonderful example of random American strangers who are super kind and wonderful. It really puts me to shame as I have never picked up a hiker let alone offered them a place to stay. I had a wonderful sleep, great company and pizza that was amazingly good.
So back to the road via the greyhound bus and hoping that Highway 20 will be open.
28/08/15 another 32 miles in the bag leaving only 16 miles to get into Stevens Pass. At Stevens Pass I will need to get updates about the fire and start the detour around to Chelan / Rainy Pass 😕.
Today, unlike any other day was overcast, repeat threatening to rain and grey – fitting and reflected the mood of the day. One year on, it feels like yesterday. It was a hard day today in more ways than one.
27/08/15 after a fab night in a bed, there was only one thing left to do; and that was to stay for coffee, full English (less tomatoes) and pancakes😀 . So, with a late start, tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of rocks and stones; I only made 26 miles today. The views were stunning but not enough to mask the prodding, poking, scraping and cutting from the stones and rocks…. I cant believe that after 2400 miles NOW in Washington my feet start to fall to bits!
26/08/15 15 miles with much of it downhill, I arrived in Snoqualmie. Food, shower, laundry, more food, bath, sleep in bed and then more food would sum up the stay.