Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Day 123: Mile 2663.5 (12.2) - THE END
It Is Finished.
Exactly 4 months from the day I took my first step north from the Mexican border, I placed my hands upon the sign reading "Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail". There's really no way to possibly sum up the whirlwind of emotion I'm experiencing right now...especially in a short blog update. I imagine I will compose a more thoughtful epilogue after a few days of letting it all settle in.
In a nutshell, I awoke this morning to some very cold temps. After a hot coffee and the last of my stehekin baked goods, I reluctantly made my way to the border. For those last four miles I tried to walk as slow as possible...to deliberately delay the end just a little
longer. When I rounded that last turn and saw the terminus post, I
couldn't hold it in. I broke down as I walked up to it and let out a
howl of joy, with tears streaming down my face. I was actually
there...actually touching the sign. The sign I had been dreaming
about for thousands of miles. I sat down unable to process my
thoughts. Eventually I went through the routine...pics of myself at
the post, pics of just the post, video, pic of me dumping Mexican dirt
and katahdin water, and various other pics and vids. After a good
hour, I looked over at the sign welcoming me into Canada and made my
way towards manning park lodge. 8 short miles later I found myself
standing at the trailhead, at the final end. There was no more to
walk. It was over.
Now I sit here in my hotel room with countless thoughts racing through
my head. Like I said, I hope to put together an epilogue entry that I
have time to think about.
There are a few things I can say:
Favourite section of trail: Rainy Pass north to Canadian Border
Favourite Mountain: Glacier Peak
Least favourite section of trail: Southern Oregon (lots of stagnant
ponds and skeeters)
Closest I came to quitting: Snoqualmie Pass
People that I hiked with that gave me great company...without which I
may not have finished: Bojangles, Canadian Ed, Sandman,
Straightjacket, Wander, Smiletrain, Kerry, Crowdog, Moleman, Guthook,
Motor, Ishmael, Furniture, Rally, the list goes on...
Best trail town: Stehekin, followed by Sierra City
Best piece of gear: tie between Brooks cascadia 5's, and Tarptent
Worst piece of gear: Everything Mountain Laurel Designs (gaiters,
rain mitts, food bag).
Most unbelievable factoid: In all 123 days, it never Rained on me
(full on) once. I never hiked in my poncho. It sprinkled on me
several times, and I did put on my poncho once for when I thought it
was going to dump, but it never actually dumped on me. Crazy.
Best day: Probably two days ago. Going north of rainy pass.
Worst day: probably one of the giardia days:
Best food: tie between drakesbad and stehekin bakery.
Worst town stop: probably tahoe or yosemite (too crowded and stressful)
Best night on trail: cowboy camping on Cady Pass. Magical night of
Worst night on trail, previously that same night when demonic mice
Worst thing I did while hiking: Sneaking through lemah fire closure.
Thing I missed most: good coffee
People I admired the most on the trail: Canadian Ed and Mr. Bojangles.
Most frustrating day: getting lost for five hours before south lake
Most awesome trail angel: Lloyd Gust
Food I ate the most: probably either snickers, pop tarts, or granola
People I'm most grateful to: everyone who donated to my dad's
memorial fund. Thank you!!!
I've run out of things to say. This is Lakewood here, signing off
from the trail for the last time. My incredible pct journey comes to
Thanks to everyone that actually read my goofy updates here, and to
those that perhaps I may have inspired to get out and try something
extraordinary. Like I posted a year ago after Leadville. We are all
capable of more than we think we are, and we can all do more than we
think we can. Now, I gracefully will exit stage left...
So long, and hike on...
Lakewood. PCT NOBO 2010
"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield"