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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

FINISHING UP

The trail is a metaphor for life. It can be hard, tedious and cold. But near the end you look back across the craggy horizon to where you toiled to climb and all you see is joy. The hard times have evaporated in the warming sun leaving only the traces of a life well lived. Dick Mallery



GAILA: As you all know, Dick made it to Canada on September 6. He then hiked another 8 miles to civilization at Manning Park. I met a cat lover in the park that would take care of BOO for 4 days and left the morning of the 7th to drive 6 hours to meet him. We stayed the night at the lodge there. Thank goodness there was a hiker facility where he could do laundry and shower before I arrived. We put his backpack in a large garbage bag so I wouldn't have to smell it on the trip back to Chimicum. Each time we went to eat at the restaurant in the lodge, someone would say, "Hey, there's Umbrella Man." From there we stopped in Chilliwack, B.C. and stayed two nights with good friends, where they began the fattening up process. He lost around 30 pounds overall and now has a long way to go to get back to his normal weight.

A bit thin, boney and hairy!
A resemblance except Sasquatch looks healthier!
His Alta Lone Peak 3.5s got him through 1200 miles!
Our wonderful Canada friends sent along a special treat for our reunion.
Here are his last few texts from the time he left Stehekin, WA to Manning Park, B.C.

The international flavor never ends. I am now in a new bubble for 80 miles to the border with a guy named Shakespeare who looks exactly like Sean Connery. He is from England but lives in Amsterdam. Then there is Metric Ton who, you guessed it, carries a huge pack full of shit. He is French Canadian. There is also Jungle who is Brazilian, Jacob, a 17 year old who is a great kid, and a German that I can't understand enough to know his trail name.

My bubble - L to R: Shredder, Crush, Numbers, JP and Hobbs
Another bubble friend - Karma
I called him Frisbee because he carried one the whole way.
Stehekin means "Way through" an ancient passage into the mountains. It's remote, laid back, beautiful and expensive. Everything comes in by ferry. It's not a bad place to be stuck waiting for resupply, but better planning would have had me in and out of here in a day. I have been very fortunate with weather, only a couple rain days but not a big deal, I'm Umbrella Man! In fact, it started raining the day I finished.

The only way to reach Stehekin is by trail or ferry up Lake Chelan.
The lake is 50 miles long and takes 4 hours from Chelan to Stehekin. 
Thankful for this place. I walked 2 miles each way twice a day from my campsite.
Food is a big motivater. There is a shuttle but it never ran when I was hungry!!
Inside the Stehekin Pastry Company
Shakespeare and Metric Ton
I left Stehekin later than planned. By the time I picked up my resupply box and got everything organized it was 12:30. I missed "trail Magic" this whole trip but was fortunate to run into it twice over these past four days.
Trail Magic at Hart Pass
Met up with hikers section hiking with their 3 dogs.
The dogs took advantage of a break. A breed new to me - Dogo Argentino.
Glacier carved valley
Last climb on the PCT - about 30 miles from the border
When I reached the Canada border it was anti-climatic. Unfortunately, my bubble group was not there. I took lots of pictures, ate dinner and moved on into Canada. PCT - Check ✔

Eating while I waited for Gaila to arrive in Manning Park.
I took lots of video but working on putting it all together.







9 comments:

  1. Congratulations. My finish was anticlimactic too. Make sure you get your medal.

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  2. First time I've seen a PCT finish with sunshine. Congratulations, Dick....a lifetime achievement

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  3. Gaila has been your "Trail Magic" for life.

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  4. So glad you two are back together enjoying life. Continue on with your Western journey, enjoy your winter.💜

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  5. That is super awesome !!! Dickie Bird !!! Way to Go !!!

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  6. Congratulations Dick!!! You continue to amaze and inspire us! 'and I so agree with Laura L.'s comment about Gaila being your Trail Magic for life... you two are incredible life partners!

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