September 11
Mileage 20
Woody Pass mile 2649 to US/Canada Border mile 2660 (+9 to Manning Park)

The ground crunches below our feet. The frost heave ice towers crumble under our giant-like strength. Nothing can stop us now. It’s not even a consideration. We savor the morning and the sun, knowing this is really it. The last morning on the PCT. The last PCT climb. We sit aside the glistening Hopkins Lake for our last PCT break.

Excitement is in the air. What I thought would be anticlimactic is not. We are pumped, with monument legs engaged. Powering down the hill, wading through the brush at an unstoppable 3+ mph. And then it is there. The line cut through the trees swings down to the valley floor. We round the turn and lay our eyes on the northern terminus and monument 78. There is cheer but there is quiet too. Introspective moments as we tap into all that was. 13 years after the events of 9/11 this group of 13ers have arrived at a random global pinpoint where dreams come true.

Yeah for the last 60 miles!

After celebration and pictures, we reluctantly start the trudge to Manning Park Lodge. The longest 9 miles ever. It simply would not end and all I wanted was a burger and beer.

Until next time, PCT (2017?). It’s been real.


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