Mile: 2643.8 to 2650.1 plus 8.1 miles to Manning Park (14.4)
up/down: 1750/4000 feet
All night the wind howled like a freight train, here comes the storm. But by morning it had only sprinkled a few times. At 5:45 I put on my headlamp and started heating water for coffee and tea. Let's get this done.
I'm proud of our little Hummingbird - coming off her death bed she did 75 miles in three days to get close to the border on the day the storm came. We set out with only rain gear but within 30 minutes we had on our ponchos. How appropriate, finish this thing with wet feet in the rain... From where we camped its downhill all the way to the border. We slogged on through the car wash bushes over growing the trail. And wind blow down trees are back in abundance - oh goody.
We hit some switchbacks and I notice in the distance the clear cut swath of the border. A couple more switchbacks and we are there. 165 total days, 142 of those walking days, and we find the northern monument. I should be more emotional right now but I'm not. Perhaps it will hit over the next few days but for now I'm happy and proud of the accomplishment.
There's no bus or magic carpet waiting at the border, so after the photos and a bit of modest celebrating all that's left is to do is walk. It's 8 miles to Manning Provincial Park and the road to get us back to the real world. It's a brutal 1500 foot climb in a steady rain before we finally make the crest and start down for good.
Our dear friend Kwan drove over this morning to take us back to his house in Vancouver for a few days of rest and visiting. He brought a bottle of sparkling cider to help celebrate. After a big lunch at the lodge we made the two hour drive back to the city. The laundry is nearly done and we've had the first of the many showers that will be required to get actually clean.
We will have much more to say about the trail, our experiences, birds, and gear reviews in the coming days. And of course for those who remember the quiz, I'll have all the answers soon. Here's a hint: it takes over 7 million steps to do the trail.
To all of you who followed along, wrote encouraging comments in this blog and on my Facebook page, worried about our health and safety, and generally sent good thoughts our way, we thank you with all our hearts. Wow, what a ride.