PCT 2017

Day 169: The Trail Ends Here

Date: September 30, 2017
Miles: 1153.8 – 1157.6

The traffic sounds that I heard this morning were a fitting reminder that reentry to civilization was imminent.  I took a little extra time to eat my last breakfast (probably my 200th packet of oatmeal) before throwing my home onto my back and stepping onto the trail.

Sunrise.

JD and Fluff quickly hiked on out of my view, as usual, and I slowed down a bit to take the last four miles at a more contemplative pace.  I wanted to go home, but I didn’t want to be done.  Tears welled up as I got closer to the I-80 rest area.

The tears evaporated when we reached the end of the line – the rest stop on I-80 at Truckee.  It wasn’t the most glamorous of backdrops for the end of a 2,650 mile hike through some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen, but I didn’t care.  I had hiked my own hike and this is where it concluded.

HIKERTRASH!

We reveled in the moment for about an hour, then JD headed north to his endpoint in Sierra City and Fluffy and I got a ride to Truckee to do what we do best – eat.  The journey wasn’t totally over – we still had to make our way back to my car, which we did by bus to Reno and a couple hitches the rest of the way to Bishop – but inside of us, we knew we had accomplished what we came out here to do…we had become true hiker trash…WE WERE DONE.

Brothers from other mothers.

 

Day 168: Toward The End

Date: September 29, 2017
Miles: 1127.2 – 1153.8

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

I had a wistfully emotional day.  The gray, cloudy sky matched my mood – it too seemed wistful, but not sad, about the end of this trek.  I like to imagine that the dusky hills and valleys of the Granite Chief wilderness felt the same.  An aching, ‘I have to say goodbye for now, but maybe I will see you again’ kind of way.   Continue reading “Day 168: Toward The End”

Day 167: Almost Done

Date: September 28, 2017
Miles: 1103.4 – 1127.2

It’s my second to last full day on trail. This adventure will be over soon and I’m not sure yet how I feel about that. All day I vacillated between impatience to get back to the creature comforts of home and family, and my desire to stay out in the elements I’ve become accustomed to – dirt, mountains, sun, wind, valleys, trees, stars.  Will I be able to slide easily back into a society obsessed with material things?  Will I feel like a weathered square peg trying to shove itself into a plastic round hole?  I don’t know. Continue reading “Day 167: Almost Done”