I was in no hurry to get up so lay their dozing staring at the roof of the top bunk above me
My roommate Don had got up early and gone for a stroll, suddenly I was awoken by an early morning text!!!!
“Your transaction for your Virgin Airline Ticket has been declined “
WTF!!! I phoned the number and spoke to Virgin “Sorry sir your card has been declined”
I asked if she could run it again , “sorry sir” I knew I was low on cash but was sure that I had enough to pay for my ticket.
I was now wide awake!!! PANIC, I was going to be at the airport in less than 5 hours and no ticket.
I frantically swapped my sim over to my Uk Sim and phoned my bank, I was on hold for 30 minutes , god knows how much that cost me. It turned out that it was the banks fault, they had blocked my card for some reason even though I had told them of my journey and where I would be (so to prevent this type of problem )
Sorry sir I don’t know why this happened! Great thank you .I quickly hung up and phoned Virgin to retry obtaining my ticket, the last one available !!
Thank god my payment was accepted and an electronic ticket appeared in my G-mail account, I was good to go OMG what a relief.
At that moment my roommate appeared, I explained what had just happened. I was now ready for breakfast so we headed to downtown Vancouver to see what we could find. WE walked into a small café and ordered two full breakfast’s then set about devouring them. WE both then had chores to do. Don wanted the Post office and I wanted a haircut. We walked to the post office together, I brought some stamps for some postcards then headed off to find a barbers shop .
It didn’t take me long and I was soon sat in the chair and being made “Normal again” ready for my flight home. Yes I look rather handsome lol .I then made myself back to the hostel.
I gathered my stuff and had one last sort. Fingers crossed I can get this on the plane!
Don my roommate then reappeared. Fancy one last beer I asked?
Why of course snail so we headed back to the bar that we found last night.
WE enjoyed one last ale together then said our goodbyes. He headed back out to do some more shopping. I had too much time to waste so enjoyed two more pints before heading back to the hostel to get my gear.
OMG it’s so bloody heavy, luckily it wasn’t far to the Sky train but even so struggled with the massive Transporter thrown across my shoulder and my smaller pack that I was also trying to carry
A last I was on the platform awaiting the sky train. This is an unmanned train similar to London’s underground nut much nicer clearer and efficient.
I was soon stepping off and I was at the airport a step closer to going home
I was early but I was here. I chilled out brought a few gifts for my friends and family. I felt a bit mean as I just couldn’t carry a lot of stuff. At last I checked in went through the farce of being x-rayed (I thought London was bad this was a shambles)
But at last I emerged into the departure lounge YES!!!
I enjoyed a last Canadian Ale then treated myself to a Mojito my traditional end of “Trip” drink.
Then it was time to board I AM GOING HOME!!!
Thanks again to the amazing friends I have made, walked with and enjoyed the most amazing trip with
Thank you all again everybody
One last Beer
a fellow hiker carried out a photo study on some of us hikers here is the link to his website enjoy
Pacific Crest trail Hiker trash
Never too early for beer
couldn’t really sleep over excited too much stuff in my brain god knows
I woke at 6.30 trail time lol and dozed before getting up for a wee and coffee
Looked at all the stuff that covered the floor there was still too much
How do I get this stuff home I got up and dressed drank my coffee then resorted the mess on the floor into stuff .Do I needed all this crap
Then filled my second pack Result!!!
I did a quick sweep of my room, Put on my smaller pack before hauling my huge pack up and onto my shoulder before staggering out of the hostel And across the road to the lodge
I tried to catch up with my blog but it was slow ,So I went for breakfast instead
The whole gang was there so I joined them I ordered hash and bacon and a beer
Sorry sir no beer till 11am
The whole gang chimed in with WHAT! No BEER FOR SNAIL LOL
so coffee instead lol
I woofed that then brought snacks for the 3 hour bus ride
The bus was due at 10 am sharp but the receptionist said its always late
We all mingled about outside, Then I suggested a photo shoot Great idea snail
Then Bowie magically a 6 pack but sadly not one left for me but then Dirtmonger produced another 6 pack which poured down so easily lol
Then we waited and waited and brought more beer and more beer and more photos and more beer
At last the bus arrived 2 hours late !!
we all filed in and found seats it was going to be a long long bus ride and unusually for a greyhound No aircon so as the hours ticked by the heat increased and so at every stop we filed off for fresh air and to stretch our legs
At last the bus cruised into the station I was in Vancouver whoop and nearer to home
I staggered through the station with my oversized pack looking for directions to the Hostel as I sat resting my arm before the next stagger XXXX joined me and we thought we could split a room we found the Hostel and booked in ,.Phew we chilled out for a while before going out for a beer
we came across a Pub and began sampling their ales Wow they had London pride !!
I had fish and chips which was really tasty and another IPA before heading back
Tomorrow I was flying home Yeah
We hiked the PCT Whoop
Fish and Chips
Off to Vancouver
Woke refreshed I put on tea then packed up
I was pleased that my tent was dry as I thought by camping on grass and by a small pond it would be wet by condensation
We woke to a cloudy day and we were not sure if it would stay dry all day!!
Da Vinchi and i were on the trail by 8 am we pushed on out of the traps but I could tell that Da Vinchi wanted to get there as he was pulling away into the distance
I can normslly keep up.but not uphill so I let him go and slowed down.
The first part was up s lot of up almost seven miles up but wow every corner or saddle revealed just amazing scenery. Mountsin range or valley. Id slept really well but today I just didn’t have the engine in my leg and struggled up every slope.
It can be quite sole destroying when you see you friend miles away across the next valley. But hey it’s been like this the entire adventure. early on I’d of tried to keep up and burn myself out but not any more
I marched on stopping to take several photos and to enjoy what I was seeing oh and to grab a handful of huckleberries
Down I’m going down. The trail began to snake its way down through the woods eventually coming to a large cross roads. DA Vinchi was waiting for me here with a couple who were also hiking to Canada.
I ate breakfast then we hit the trail again and yet another climb. Up and up we went at last the sun began to shine and I began to melt phew I looked for a good spot to stop and loose a layer stuffed my shirt into my pack emptied s litre of lemonade down my throat then set off after Da Vinchi
The trail wound its way across the valley touching the rims of the mountains, occasionally I’d have to cross a steep scree that swept down the mountain as far as you could see
Some were wide to walk on others were scary and a mere foot print wide.
On I went still climbing and still being presented with fantastic new mountains and other views
I had to keep stopping to stare
I eventually caught up with Da Vinchi and we had lunch just love eating with the amazing picture before me.
We relaxed then time to walk .we were making good time and mileage
Yes we were going to do it
But there were still plenty of miles to do. But it was down and apart from a water stop we should hit the monument by about 6 pm
I chased after Da Vinchi but soon lost him on the never ending switchbacks
I then met s funny marmot ( Steve Adam Adam ) But every time raised my camera he shot into his hole.
I carried on down the switchbacks then saw a beautiful lake hadn’t seen a lake in weeks the trail meandered around it. By the bank I saw Da Vinchi getting water do I did the same
6 miles to go snail we can do it in two hours.
We headed off and down and again Da Vinchi was soon out of sight .I plodded on occasionally stopping to grab s handful of huckleberries or two.
The sun was still hot as earlier it had gone black and cold and in thought it may rain
I pounded down the trail then I noticed Da Vinchi and fantastic it was Foxxy we carried on together getting closer to our goal then we met washcloth and frizzy coming back .frizzy said Early Bee may still be there! !
That would be fantastic as we both started on the same day back in April
We marched on and on then met Pedi on the way back I gave him a huge hug said congratulations and then pressed on
At last the monument we spent about an hour taking crazy photos then Early bee re-joined us bloody brilliant .now it was time to open the “Champagne” that a friend Gwyn had sent me thanks so much Gwyn
I had carried this large glass bottle from Stehekin and I wasn’t going to waste a drop. I popped the cork and took a huge swig it tasted divine I passed the bottle to Da Vinchi then Foxxy then Early Bee before taking it back. thank you again
We then took more silly photos before for well over an hour before moving on to camp
I set up camp then cooked supper by the log fire. Fires appear to be allowed again now hurrah Tomorrow 8 miles to manning park and soon home I hope
Early Bee and Snail
My Crazy Mates
Da vinchi Foxxy And Snail
I woke about six thirty after a great night’s sleep everyone else was still in their tents
I quickly went to the loo then fired up my stove .Aya then emerged. So did I snore she asked? I had to laugh and say yes .Then Da vinchi joined in with yes but it was more of a gentle purr ,Rather than the roar of Legs behind you !! we all laughed
Soon Aya was packed and heading for the trail. See you both up the trail
she said. Da-vinchi and I were taking our time. And soon Nature and legs were heading out too. Best we make a move too Da vinchi off we went it was about an hours climb to the first saddle as we crossed about a dozen switchbacks.
I eventually crossed over the saddle and wow the views of all the mountains and valleys was amazing
Nature and legs were taking a break so I joined them for breakfast while waiting for Da vinchi .Then Da vinchi disappeared I called his name and was worried he had fallen . But he had been to climb a small peak.
We set off again to cross the next saddle. The views as we walked were amazing. It was such a beautiful clear day and getting warmer. We marched on the trail wide and flat
Soon we were going down. But slowly as we both didn’t want to injure ourselves when we were so close to the finish.
Ah water. We filled up as the next reliable water was 21 miles away I had 4 litres yes a little heavy.
Further up the trail we met two couples hiking we ended up chatting to them for some time before resuming our walk. We could tell we were getting close to a trail head as we began to pass many day hikers. Clean people who smell nice
Four ladies we met were so pleased for us that they gave us half of their lunch and fruit
At last we arrived at the trail head there was a loo .ranger station and register .
Da vinchi and I sat at a table and ate lunch .Then two other hikers appeared it was Mongo and Washcloth
Bloody hell guys good to see you both. I’d of thought you guys would have finished. Both of them had missed the water and were out.so I gave them a litre of mine. Then two ladies walked by with two huge pots of huckleberry’s
I said to the guys ask if they have any spare water. But as they were very shy
I asked for them. Excuse me Mamm would you have any spare water?
Why of course .so they both followed the ladies to their car.
Then to my amazement Pedi arrived with Frizzy I hadn’t seen him since Kennedy meadows. And wow he looked thin but a good thing
we all ended up chatting for far too long. Before we hit the trail almost 2 hours later and of course a big climb.
But as always a fantastic views .it was now almost four we agreed we would go to six.so we pushed on hoping we could set up in the sun
We crossed one more Creek and topped up our water for the night. We had one more climb then we could see our camp
Tents up we both relaxed and cooked dinner except I managed to knock mine over so had to bury it then start again. We finished up with hot chocolate laced with Canadian Whiskey
Tomorrow we will walk and see what happens we may make the finish or we may camp a mile short and finish the day after
Woke up with the sun still shinning that’s always a good start. But I couldn’t get out of bed my alarm went off again Come on snail or your miss the bus
I frantically packed up then set off ear buds in I had two hours to catch that bus
5 miles I can do this I crossed the first creek where I had watered up and ploughed on down the trail
I felt good and Canada was getting nearer whoop whoop
I was singing along to nothing in particular enjoying my 5 mile March but still accompanied by the roar of water. Now and then id peek over the canyon and stare at the cascading water but not for too long I just didn’t have the time
Up and down I meandered the clock ticking down on my wrist at last a bridge and signage pointing to high Bridge fantastic I’m not far
I crossed the bridge a small climb then down yes I can see the bridge in the distance
I was soon crossing it and in the distance were several hikers
One waved at me .Great it was artic fox and a hiker called Maddie.
As we said our hellos a smart red bus arrived.
Several hikers got off one being French Paul we had a hug said good luck to each other and then he took me to the river to see the trout there were loads of them and shortly they would be running upstream
I said my goodbyes and boarded the bus. $ 7 to town.
First stop the lodge. Great they had gas (butane) I quickly brought one. When I got back the bus was packed. I chatted to a lady about the area .The next stop was the bakery. Its famous for just being good. I spent fortune or rather I could have done. A huge sticky bun a cheese and bacon slice and a coffee.
When I got back on the bus the lady was telling me where everything was in Stehekin the post office .the store shower etc.
The bus bumped its way along the dirt track to town passing a recently cleared mud slide!!!
At last town I said I’d see her later and got off at the post office
I had four parcels. My ice axe (don’t ask) a book, my resupply and some tea. Great I was out of tea so Thanks Bill
I then ransacked the hiker box and stuffed my pack. Mm something is missing I went back to the post office to check on a fifth parcel. No but it may be at the store
I staggered down to the store and up on the deck.
OMG such a beautiful place and it can only be reached by boat ,seaplane or hike in like us
The lady on the bus was there waiting for her boat to take her to Chelan
She offered to look after my pack while i went and had a shower and laundry. But first I plugged in all my gadgets to charge.
As I was walking to the shower I walked into Da-vinchi. So good to see him
He was camping up the road so we agreed to meet later for a beer maybe two 🙂
I threw my dirty clothes into the machine then realised I had no soap so had to run back to the store where I bumped into Feast. Beer in 25 minutes he said
I ran back to the laundry and put on the machine then jumped into the shower mmm it felt so good
I dried in the sun as no towel then waited for the wash to finish so I could then dry 20 minutes later all done and me clean I walked back to the store
I found a nice table brought some post cards and a 6 pack and relaxed in the sun watching people arrive on the ferry and seaplane. It’s just utterly beautiful here I want to come back and do the ferry ride to the next town
Then I remembered the missing parcel I was expecting a small bottle of sparkling wine (Champagne) from Gwyn.. I checked inside the store and came out with a large heavy box.
I cautiously opened it…Inside was a large glass bottle of “Champagne”
Feast who was watching me said
“SNAILTRAINER” you’re the man
So Gwyn THANK YOU so much it was far more than I had expected
The news spread quickly that “SNAILTRAINER” was carrying a large bottle of champagne to Canada And everyone who knows me knows mine is the heaviest pack on the PCT
And it just got a lot heavier lol
I finished my postcards and was wading through my beer when Da vinchi arrived so we ordered another 6 pack just in case.
Then Omg “Early Bee” arrived this is the other guy that I started with on the 17th of April bloody hell we hugged and gave him a beer and then showed him my shinny bottle of bubbles. Best I wait for you at the monument then snail lol
Later we had to sign in to the campsite that we wanted to stay at we thought 5 miles will do to finish off the day.
We enjoyed the rest of the day with more beer a huge bag of corn chips and endless bowls of salsa
Before it was time to take the last bus back to the trail
We were hoping to call back at the bakery to get stuff for tea but it was closed dam and bugger oh well
We got back on the bus and headed back to the trail rather gloomy and hungry. We hoisted our packs onto our backs and headed north but it was late we were tired and so we only managed 3/4 of a mile before we both yelled together FLATSPOT!! Lol
we put up our tents had a hot drink and we were both soon zzzzzz
a bottle Champagne For me to carry
Transport to town
The view from the Deck
Another way in !!
Time to go
My Drinking Partner
A good nights sleep but i seem to be like Austin Powers im missing my mojo I woke with my alarm and just lay there. .the next alarm went and I cancelled it .There wasn’t the sound of rain but camping close to a creek it was sodden with condensation.its no good, to finish the Pct I need to finish I put on my stove and packed my damp kit into my damp pack put on my wet socks and put my feet into my wet shoes. Okay its not late I can do this I drank my tea . waterproofs on all round .Lets walk…….
I made my way out of the camp site and through the forest dodging under dome huge fallen trees.i was feeling good but I just didnt have any ooomph .maybe its all these climbs every one says this. Section is a toughy well im finding it so..I meandered through the woods staring at all the different mushrooms, toadstools and fungi all amazing colours and shapes. It was not long till I heard the sound or rather roar of water.i couldnt see it but I knew I was following it.oh my god it was the tree jumping game and to make it more fun lets do it in water
.I must of crossed 2 dozen ice melts whilst manovering over and around logs.The roar was now getting louder meaning I was getting closer.i came over a large bank and there it was a main feed from a glacier all milky white
Luckily there was a bridge well almost it had collapsed in the middle but was still crossable with care..I made my way across the swirling waters and over thr other bank guess it was time to climb and climb I did.
After an hour I stopped took of my rain jacket and woolyhat had a long drink and continued up and up oh and up oh sun there is sun and I can see mountains and snow wow up and up
Then Wow more mountains came into view they were all around. I continued to climb into another forest but it was steep omg it was steep
Both my feet hurt im guessing because of wet socks etc I dropped some pain killers and climbed higher.OMG the views were even better sadly I dont know what they are called but they are stunning. I climbed over the saddle and wow even better views of more mountains and fantastic valleys.
I began to climb down through more trees phew .ping went my watch. Yes that will do.i ate cereal and chilled for 10 minutes before back to the trail.
I had to Ford another creek dont get wet snail.!.Phew safely across
Oh and up we go and up and up zig zag switchback after about an hour I reached another saddle and it was Omg OMG OMG Moment the mountains stretched out in front of me I was stunned by what I was seeing I sat down and just started
Then I began a very very long trek down .slowly to begin with as it was snowy snd slippy and a long drop lol
At 2.30 I stopped for lunch checked my feet and rested I still hsd a long long way to go down so that I could climb up the other side lol
After lunch I began my decent again I psssed a gorgeous lake but as it had snow on it it was brrr but a beautiful blue colour. Just by the lake set several hikers I said my hellos then continued on as I crossed another Creek I disturbed a huge trout well it looked like trout but more pink.i Could of caught him but i needed to walk as my milage the last few days has been crap down and down I went in places it was clay and due to the recent rain it was scary. I must of been going down for hours but every now and then another mountain or waterfall would catch my eye.
Again I heard the roar of more water and I came to another large bridge over another glacial melt I checked my gps I had done 14 miles and it was 4.30 really I said to myself I had expected more.
No what I should of done was to fill up with water . (Like I usually do when im tired so I can camp) But I didn’t. Water was in 9 miles but I thought well there is bound to be a spring and it was 4 miles up theres bound to be a flat spot NO NO NO
I set off up and it was a steep up and up and up puff puff switchback after switchback higher and higher but no water and no flat spot after two hours i was knackered please just a flat spot but nothing I walked on and on then thought I’ve had enough On one switchback it was fairly wide so that’s where I stuck my tent. I had 1 liter of water so 1 cup of tea and dinner and now for bed
Still not a good day but better