The Final Push to Canada
So, Oregon by far was my least favorite state. I also only hiked about 100-200 miles of it. It was mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. My feet throbbed with pain and were red and swollen from all the lava rock.
However, Bend was amazing. It was the most lively and fun town. There was always something to do. We floated the river, went to a music festival, scored some berries at the farmers market, and went to an art festival downtown. Also shout out to Avid Cider and Crux brewery in Bend, they give out a free drink to PCT hikers.
The most stunning section I’ve hiked this far. Huge valley’s, gorgeous peaks, high passes, blue skis, beautiful lakes, and big climbs. We got rained on for one day, and it was also super hot for our last few days, which was tough on the body.
Goat Rocks Wilderness was amazing. Knifes Edge was honestly terrifying for me, but the views were so worth it! We were told that in this section the mosquitoes would start to get bad, but they never did. Overall, this state was amazing, and if you’re going to do a section of the PCT make it Washington!!
Unfortunately, our time on the PCT in Washington was cut short because of a fire. We expected this, but had gotten lucky through almost all of WA with no fires. Then, 81 miles from the border we were stopped because of a fire.
We could have skipped up to Harts Pass and just did the last 30 to the border. However, the air quality is terrible, limited water, and it’s so very hot. So we are going to drive into Canada and tag the border that way. Which is not the way any of us want to do it, however we don’t really have a choice.
Washington is not the only state on the PCT on fire. There are fires in Oregon and Northern California. A few towns are under evacuation, and a few sections of trail are closed.
Kinda Finished the PCT
Fires stopping my hike prematurely is definitely disappointing. Not the way I wanted to end your hike, but at least we got to Washington. I have walked more miles in six months than some people walk in their entire lives.
However, I believe the PCT is a personal journey. I don’t think it’s something confined to a trail, but it is defined by your own mind. The trail is 2,655 miles officially, and by definition if you didn’t do exactly that you didn’t physically complete the PCT. That being said each individual on the PCT has their own journey and goals that they are trying to achieve.
Maybe someone began in Mexico and found that their journey and purpose on the PCT had been fulfilled by the end of the Sierras and they decide to get off. That’s their journey and their decision. That’s the completion of their hike.
Aches and Pains
The aches and pains in trail have been persistent since day one. The blisters in the desert, throbbing foot pain in Nor Cal, and aching knees in Washington. It was never ending. The people made the PCT at the experience that it was. We had tramily dinners, bar crawls, birthdays, breakfast, and so many little memories that made the trail experience.
This brings up injuries. I have known a few people who have gotten off trail or taken a break because of injuries. When someone is injured on trail, it seems to be in their lower body. Mainly because we are using our legs the most. I rolled my ankle 200 miles from Canada, my friend rolled hers on mile one, and another friend from trail got off because of her knee. Injuries on trail are expected, hi not avoidable, but it’s about how you overcome the situation.
The one thing we always say about hiking the PCT is that hiking is the worse part.
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