Sydney and I arrived in Stehekin yesterday – typically the final town and resupply stop before completing the trail. We were eighty trail miles from the Northern Terminus of the PCT, which is right on the Canadian Border. In a normal non-pandemic year most PCT hikers get a Canadian entry permit and walk into Canada. It’s an additional eight mile walk to Manning Park where hikers can enjoy all the typical town amenities and then catch a bus to Vancouver. The last two years, however, the border has been closed to hikers (due to Covid). Several months ago Canada had opened its formal entry points like airports and highways where visitors could be vetted. But, despite our hope, Canada had not extended legal entry to hikers. ☹️
In 2020 and 2021 PCT hikers who reach the Northern Terminus have to turn around and hike back into the United States at least thirty miles to Harts Pass (a trailhead) or fifty miles to Rainy Pass (on Highway 20). I was not very excited about having to turn around but had not eliminated that possibility.
To make matters worse, apparently I said something to Sydney last night after dinner that upset her, so we were a little out-of-sorts. ☹️☹️☹️
As we considered our options, and tried to repair our relationship, we took the free shuttle back to the pastry shop for breakfast. The pastry shop is famous for their cinnamon rolls. We saw one hiker buying six cinnamon roles to take back on the trail for the last few days hike to Canada.
I had an egg and sausage sandwich along with my coffee. It was pretty yummy!
Also since Oregon I had been dealing with a chronic muscle spasm under my left scapula. It has something to do with hiking and carrying my backpack. I had been dealing with it with daily stretching and Vitamin I (Ibuprofen). But it had been getting worse.
The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of hiking the last eighty miles with Donna. Now that she had recovered from her two knee replacements, she is certainly capable of getting back on the trail for a relatively short hike. It seemed fitting to complete the trail with the original four feet that started at the Mexican border. And I would really like the experience of hiking into Canada. So that’s what I decided. I don’t think Sydney was very happy with me but hopefully she will be able to join us and we can all complete the trail together.
So we bought tickets for the ferry from Stehekin to Chelan.
Blake and Tahnee and our little grandkids (as opposed to our big grandkids) were there at Chelan when we got off the ferry. They drove up from Boise. Tahnee’s father Greg was there also – he had helped us last week at Stevens Pass and Leavenworth. It was great to see them all.
So that’s how the hike ended. It was a little disappointing to not finish after getting so close. But I look forward to returning with Donna and Sydney and completing this damn trail together. Hopefully Canada will open the border and we can finish during the summer of 2022. Stay tuned. And thanks for following.