Day 32 – 8/7/16
Castle Creek camp
Miles – 19.8
Total Miles – 510.7 (PCT 2650.1)
It was a cold night. By early morning it was getting hard to stay warm. The only good thing about our campsite is that it would get early sun. It was weak sun, but sun light nonetheless. We packed up, but The Ravens kept standing in any patch of morning sun to warm up. Finally, we got out of camp, with only 19.5 miles to reach Canada. Our first obstacle of the day was a big up, however it was the only one for the day. As we traveled up, we noticed that foggy clouds were rolling over the ridge. We would go into clouds and out again. We came to Holman Pass quickly and then we contoured up toward Rock Pass. The trail passed through green fields of wildflowers with clumps of trees. Gently, the clouds were rolling over the ridge above Rock Pass but we were luckily in sun most of the time. The moving clouds made things even more beautiful. As we crossed Rock Pass, we could see our next goal of Woody Pass. There was a very thick cloud pushing its way through the pass. We worked our way over toward Woody and as we got closer to it, the wind picked up. Bitterly cold wind and fog whipped through. It was not pleasant hiking. At least it did not last long. About a quarter of a mile beyond the pass, the wind thank goodness, let up. All around us was a thick cloud, but it was far more comfortable without the biting wind.
We were working our way up onto a ridge when a hiker came toward us. We stopped a moment to say hi and recognized him. There was a pause and Papa Raven asked “Scott?” It was Scott Williams (Bink) one for the PCT’s legends. Incredibly, he has hiked the PCT 13 times. He was the first to yo-yo it (to hike North and South in the same trip) and he has done that twice. In all our years of hiking the PCT, we have bumped in to him several times including our first PCT thru-hike in1996. Back then, he was hiking with a young man named Psycho Ken who had a hard time dealing with the real world and shortly afterwards committed suicide. Scott remembered us, including our real names of Tim and Ann. We talked a bit before parting company. It was good to see him again.
From this point to the border, the trail is easy, mostly down hill. We hiked to Castle Pass and then started the long descent to the border. The clouds around us no longer looked like fog but were dark rain clouds holding lots of water just waiting for the right moment to dump their heavy load of water on us. We could hear the distant bursts of thunder around us. We were hiking for more than an hour when Little Crow and Bling were bitten by Yellow Jackets. Usually the first person who walks by, in this case it was Mama Raven, disturbs the yellow jackets nest and the ones behind get attacked. You do not want to stand around or many more Yellow Jackets will get you. Thus, Little Crow and I quickly run away from the area. We ran out into a clearing and we then noticed that it had started to sprinkle. We hiked quickly to the next stand of trees and changed our clothes: down jackets off, rain jackets on. We knew the border is close so we hiked quickly in a hard rain. About 15 minutes later, we came upon Bling and Mama Raven. They had waited for us so we could hike to the border together. Little Crow and Papa Raven repacked for rain then we all headed to Canada. We began this adventure four weeks ago in the rain, and The Ravens will end the trip in rain too. The rain was coming down hard and the monument was before us. We stayed long enough to take a photo and quickly found a camp not far away on the Canadian side of the border.
An hour or so later the rain stopped. The Ravens had a dinner of Vodka Pasta Sauce and drinks we carried out from Stehekin to toast Bling’s completion of the PCT.
Day 32 – 8/7/16