Out of the wilderness and back to civilization

Me, Iron, Stride, Rattlebee, and Dayhiker. If you look closely you'll see that 4 out of 5 hikers are wearing Brooks Cascadias. A popular shoe by the time we reached Canada!

After reaching the northern terminus on September 3rd me and Dude camped by the border. We had now been hiking together since Kennedy Meadows, almost 2000 trail miles, but the time had come to where our paths were separating. In order to enter Canada legally PCT hikers need a Canada Border Entry Permit as well as a passport. I had my permit and my passport and was hiking on another 8 miles to Manning Provincial Park in Canada, while Dude, in lack of his passport, had to hike a long 25 miles back to Hart’s Pass and the nearest road on the US side.

Dude hiked out early the next morning. I took my time and stayed at the monument for a while and enjoyed the cold, but beautiful September morning and reflected on the fact that had I just finished hiking from Mexico to Canada! 2660 miles, 4 months of hiking, the people I had met, the places I had been, the good times… and the hard times, which fortunately weren’t that many. I was proud of the achievement and glad that I only had 8 more miles of hiking to do, but at the same time I was sad that the Pacific Crest Trail was now over. A strange, but blissful feeling.

I had a nice stroll into Canada and arrived at Manning Provincial Park just after noon on September 4th. After showering and doing laundry at the Manning Park lodge I went straight over to the convenience store, which to my surprise was stocked like a Soviet video store from 1978. Although their selection was from times long gone, their prices seemed to be from a far and inflated future. 8 dollars for 1/2 gallon of milk seemed quite steep even compared to Norway! They did not sell beer in the store, there was no cell service in the area, and the only internet connection was a computer at the lodge on what resembled a 28.8 kbit/s line. I sincerely hoped that all this wasn’t representative to what the rest of Canada was like, but I had no urge to investigate any further and was thinking to myself “Someone please take me back to the US!”. I ended up spending 24 hours in Canada and then got a ride with fellow hiker Iron and his girlfriend who came up from Washington to pick him up. Yay!

As I finished the Pacific Crest Trail way ahead of schedule I still had two months to spend in the US before flying back to Norway. Like most Norwegians I have lots of relatives in the US, and many of them live on the West Coast. I was very happy to take this opportunity to meet and connect with my American relatives as I was moving down the coast. I also got to reconnect with friends and people I had met on the trail, and even ended up doing some smaller hikes like part of the Lost Coast Trail in California, the Wave in Arizona and Buckskin Gulch in Utah.

I finally returned to Norway in early November. I drove out to Los Angeles International Airport in +28 Celsius and sunshine, and when I arrived at Oslo Airport Gardermoen some 20 hours later it was +3 Celsius and rain. Norway was just the way that I left it 6 months earlier 🙂

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