INTO MANNING PARK, CANADA
PCT Day 150: Mile 2641.7- Mile 2658.8
Saturday September 10, 2016: 17.3 miles- 8.3 on the PCT and 9 miles to Manning Park (27.7 km)
I packed up with thoughts that this is the last day on the trail. It seems to have been home initially for Corky and I, and then for me as we migrated North.
I ran into Buckshot, Fire Ant and Momma Goose in quick succession. They had been to the monument and were heading back the 30 miles to Harts Pass. While talking to Fire Ant four deer races through the meadow below. I will never stop marveling at the way they prance with all four legs off the ground, they almost seem like they are flying.
There was a lot of cloud in the sky and the craggy peaks and magnificent views back towards main Cascade Range also made me think that fellow hikers were getting wet feet under some of that cloud.
There was probably only one last opportunity to get lost and I managed to take it and walk an extra mile.
There were quite a number of trees down in the last two miles, the PCT was going to make you earn every inch to the monument. I looked down the trail and saw the distinctive form of Napoleon. We were so pleased to see each other it was an obligatory man hug. I.had not seen Napoleon since Northern California, the day Corky broke her ankle. He had just said farewell to Red Cross who would be in Manning Park today. He was going to walk back to Oregon since he had enjoyed Washington so much. He is a bit of a walking machine To catch up to Red Cross he walked four – fifty mile days followed by a 79 mile day. He and Red Cross are already making plans for hiking the Continental Divide Trail next year perhaps.
When I got to the monument I was there by myself and spent some time setting the self timer on the phone camera, then scrambling up the monument to be often caught midway. I did get better at it and then Juggs and Music Man turned up and offered to stop my madness and take my finishing at the monument pictures.
From the monument it was then another nine miles into Manning Park. They are a tough miles simply because you feel as through you have finished but still have one more climb and a few more miles.
I got into Manning Park which is a sizable resort, to be told there was a wedding on and it was entirely booked out. So I was resigned to spend one more night in the tent But help arrived – the manager came out to say they were setting up some hostel style accommodation in the old staff quarters, a bit rough but they were doing it up. Camping in the campground was $35 a site and the hostel was $39 so it was a simple choice.
So I’m presently in the bar, having just finished an enormous pepperoni pizza and a couple of fine Canadian beers and life seems just grand.
It was raining quite heavily outside and I was so thankful for the hostel style accommodation. One of my fellow hikers mentioned that if we could get the world leaders out on the trail walking the PCT, there would be less conflict in the world.
I will be around Manning Park tomorrow and will do some laundry and enjoy a lazy day before getting the bus to Vancouver at 1.50am.
I will spend Monday in Vancouver before meeting Corky at the airport at 7am on Tuesday. I can hardly wait to see Corky again.
We will keep the blog going as we continue on Stage 2 of our Gap Year travels. And in a few weeks will post a reflections and comments on our PCT experience.