Saturday, September 17, 2016

And So It Ends ... CANADA BABY!

Day 165 - September 17
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. 


  1. We are so proud of you and happy you have finished! Thank you for writing this blog to allow us to travel with you.

    1. Amen to that sister. I followed along wondering, worrying, but mostly just awestruck at Bob's ability to keep us informed and part of their journey that I could never dream of trying myself, but kind of feel that I completed too. So proud of Susan and Bob. What a life accomplishment! What an amazing couple.

  2. Congratulations to both of you! And thank you for sharing along the way, it's been a treat to follow your ups and downs on the trail.

  3. I agree with all of the above. Sheer stick-to-it, obstinance, incredible planning, physical endurance, ability to still take stunning photos and put thoughts down on paper in an informative and amusing way, keeping us all part of this incredible journey. I am in awe and so glad I could help. You are most welcome, Dearest Friends.

  4. You are my hero's. Proud to be amoung the loyal followers, truly.

  5. You are my hero's. Proud to be amoung the loyal followers, truly.

  6. Many many congratulations to you both from across the pond. Along with Tom & Josh, we raise a glass to your fantastic achievement 🍺🍺🍺

  7. Awesome!!!! Congratulations to you both!!!!

    Sandi Collins

  8. What an accomplishment! Thanks so much for sharing the walk with the rest of us. Really enjoyed following your adventures all summer. Superb planning and courageous execution throughout.

  9. Congratulations! What a journey.