Miles hiked: 8.7
Cumulative PCT Miles: 1711.6
Camped at: n/a, Manning Park Lodge
A bittersweet day, my last day of west coast hiking for this year…I meandered thru the Canada woods this morning, enjoying the sun for the first time in days :). I met a few parents hiking out to meet finishers at the Monument this morning, and it was fun to learn that many were so close behind me when I’d only seen Contrail and Journal going northbound yesterday, should be quite a celebration in Manning!
The hike in Manning Provincial Park was lovely, some views and great forest hiking, though after the morning climb (which I was happy to do to warm up!) the trail joined an old road with a pounding descent that seemed to go on a long time. Yesterday it seemed like my muscles never really warmed up in the cold, so my knees were making their displeasure known! The last mile or so to the trailhead/road to the lodge was lovely and flat – reminded me so much of hiking in Ohio! The PCT trying to transition me back home, perhaps?! At the road, Songbird (PCT ’08) and friend pulled over to offer me a ride to the lodge, and faced with a road walk I happily jumped in.
The rest of the day was spent eating (of course!), drying out gear on the lawn (making the tourists stare at us confused), and then shower and laundry when my room was available in the early afternoon. The lodge is SO nice, a great treat at the end of the WA section, and the staff super friendly. My only complaint is that the Wifi wasn’t free – but only $3 for 24 hrs, which was more than enough to email home (no cell service at all here), and make travel arrangements for tomorrow.
A lovely last day, all in all – and it felt so good to get my gear, clothing, and self clean and dry again – I had forgotten, probably conveniently, the special funk that comes along with hiking for days in cold rain and damp. For the most part, though, I had spectacular weather through Washington state, and so enjoyed the hiking. Ahh, the Pacific Northwest, I’ll be happy to visit again, that’s for sure!
Finally, the remainder of the PCT (NoCal and OR) have not been forgotten, only deferred. I’ll update this blog (it may be a while, as I need to figure out what where I’m going career wise from here) when I plan to get back on the trail. It’s lovely being a LASH-er, after all! (Translation: Long A** Section Hiker)