Friday, September 26, 2008

We Made It!

From Mexico to Canada - what an adventure! Everything we could have
ever imagined and then some (except a bear attack).

After a night of rain, our group of seven marched to the border
yesterday morning under a clear sky. You can see the border clearing
going up the mountain behind us. It was quite emotional to finally be
there, and we can't quite grasp that we really are finished.

Thanks to Tony and Laura for sending Occasion the elephant (Okie for
short) - he has helped us celebrate birthdays, a wedding, and now the
completion of a thru-hike. He's a special guy.

As a wise hiker recently said, "we have thru hiked and now we are
through hiking" (at least for a couple of days).

Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement over the last
five and a half months. We are looking forward to seeing you all very
soon!

Monday, September 22, 2008

An Unexpected Turn of Events

Even if you hike over 2,000 miles, if it rains all night and by
morning the temperature drops enough for snow to be falling, you look
for a way to get warm & dry.

From Stehekin, yesterday we hiked to Rainy Pass on highway 20. When
we got there, four new friends and old thru hikers had set up a trail
magic station with shelter from the rain and plenty of food. Thank you
Toby, Brandon, Casey, & Desiree.

We greatly appreciated their kindness, and exploited them further this
morning when the Seven (today's name for the group) awoke to wet
everything, snow, and a projected high of 34 degrees. We got rides
into the town of Mazama.

When the first car left the pass, it shortly encountered a man waving
them down. He had just rolled his car in the slushy road conditions
and completely totaled the Subaru. He walked away, got passed by many
cars, but our crew of hikers and trail angels picked him up to get him
to a hospital.

Then Reid, the lucky survivor, offered us a place to stay in his new
cabin. And, not wanting to disappoint a potential head trauma victim,
we said, "ok!"

Reid drove himself to the hospital in his other car, and we lazed
slothlike, drying out all our gear and discussing options. We are very
close, but the cold, wet, high elevation days ahead may be the hardest
(but final) challenge of our trip.

Reid arrived home after 8 hours of giving strangers free rein over his
(beautiful) cabin. He is very lucky - everything is ok, but he's going
to be sore tomorrow.

We made a quick trip to the local market and cooked a feast fit for a
king tonight. Tomorrow we head back out to the mountains, with plans
for making a run for the border before it snows on us again, so we can
finally call this trip done!