Getting back on the trail after two weeks seemed easy enough. The first night back on the trail it was clear that fall was showing its true colors as well as its behavior. After hiking in a misty rain, it began to rain hard lasting all night. Awaking to broken clouds and misty views, the chill still lingering in the air. The vegetation offered a warm glow in the traces of sun light.
I feel as though I have been dropped off in a new world, one that is far different than the one I’ve been hiking all summer. Firey reds, oranges and yellows sprouted among the sharp sawtooth mountain tops. Tall steep granite peaks sloped hard down to beautiful bright blue glacier lakes.
This is clearly a very special place on the PCT. Though I felt out of place. All of the friends I’ve made over the summer have finished their hike. The warm sunny days of summer are gone and with it my spirit. I struggle with the thought of going home once I get to Stevens Pass. I know that I only have a few more days on the trail to complete my thru hike to Canada. But I feel that I’ve completed it a long time ago.More scenery passes as the rugged difficult trail switchbacks up and down these sharp granite faces. My mind still unsure of where I want to be. I arrive a Stevens Pass and make my way down to the Dinsmore’s Hiker Haven. I am the only hiker there. I clean up and start a movie and I read some entries from recent hikers in their guest book. Some say “This is not how I imagined my hike would end…” Others say “It’s been a good trip but this is my last day on the trail…” I realized again how fortunate I am to be here and still have an opportunity to finish the trail all the way through. The fires in Washington caused a lot of hikers to skip some of the most beautiful terrain in the state. Others were at a dead end and the Northen Monument was inaccessible.
Without much more thought to it I grabbed food for the next leg and continued on the trail in the morning. With a fresh mindset and a new found peace of being back on trail, I was only 189 miles from Canada and completing all 2,659 miles of the PCT.