Starting the PCT Southbound
Getting to the Canadian border to start the PCT going south is the first part of the adventure. My hiking partner, Two Cup, and I decided to rent a car and drive to Wenatchee, WA. Plane tickets to Seattle were really expensive and the flights all got in late enough that we would have to spend a night in Seattle, so the car rental seemed like a much better option. We drove to Bend the first day and visited the REI for last-minute gear tune-ups. Next we drove to Wenatchee and dropped off the car rental and got a room to get the packs organized for the trail.
Busing to the Trail
We took four buses to get close to Hart’s Pass; the first bus went from Wenatchee downtown to a transit station. It was at this transit station that we finally connected with other PCT hikers. There were six of us on the bus going towards the trail. We had to take three more buses and finally got dropped off right outside of Mazama, WA, at close to 5:30 p.m. We were told it would be an easy hitch to Hart’s Pass from this spot.
Hitching a Ride
It was not super easy but thankfully we got lucky and a wonderful couple picked us all up and drove us to Hart’s Pass, more than 20 miles up a dirt road. Five of us rode in a truck together up the bumpy dirt road as our lovely driver gave us a history lesson on the area and told us tales of when he used to camp at Hart’s Pass as a kid. We got to the top and jumped out of the truck, said thank you to our ride, and checked in at the guard station.
The Northern Terminus is 30 miles North of Hart’s Pass so the only way to really start the trail is with a 30-mile warm-up hike. It was late on a Friday, the sun was starting to set in the distance, but the group of us started to walk north on the PCT toward Canada. It felt so good to take those first few steps; the smells of the trail were familiar, like going home for Christmas. The conversation between us was easy and the miles clicked away until just before dark. Setting up my new tent on the trail was exciting. I slept like a rock excited to be back home. The next day Two Cup and I hiked to Woody Pass and set up camp. We planned to slack-pack to the terminus the following day, meaning we set up our tents and hiked out with our food and packs and emergency gear so we were super ultralight for the 22 miles round trip. We tagged the terminus on a Sunday around lunch. It felt good to finally turn around and start our hike southbound on the PCT. Our adventure had begun.
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