Destination: Oak Harbor (via Manning Park)
Cumulative Miles: 2338.5
It was rough sleep last night, on a very uneven campsite. Yet, despite our poor sleep accommodations, we moved out ambitious for the border crossing. We headed out largely as a train, six of us marching closely together talking away the miles.
Motor's boyfriend planned on hiking south from Manning Park to meet her on our final day. When we finally connected with him, a happy reunion was had. While Motor and Isaac hugged and kissed, the rest of us broke out in a horrible bad attempt at singing "A Whole New World," from Disney's Alladin.
Three miles later, we heard whoops and screams in the forest below us. A few minutes later, there were more screams. Then a few more minutes later we were screaming ourselves. We had arrived at Monument 78, the marker on the trail distinguishing the border between the United States and Canada. There also is a wide clear cut swath of land along the entire perimeter of the border between the two countries. There is probably some cynical comment that could be made about the fact that our Mexican Border is a barbed wire fence next to a steel wall with hired gunmen, whereas our Canadian Border is a wide open swath of land, but we'll leave that alone.
Enjoying wine, whiskey, candy, butter sticks, maple syrup, vodka, Stehekin Bakery goods, and the remains of anything good and tasty, the nine of us jumped and celebrated, indulged and screamed, drank and posed. It was a very wonderful opportunity for us to get to cross the border with others, celebrating in the company of finishers, and almost finishers like us.
We may not be completely done yet, but this is certainly the beginning of the end for us. We just need to head down to California and pick up a few hundred missed miles. But first we had to hike the nine miles from the monument to the highway at Manning Park. What a cruel joke it is, to celebrate being done, only to have nine miles and 1000 feet of elevation gain to deal with.
We got it done, and then ate a meal at the lodge. Afterwards we showered and soaked in a hot tub before Psycho's parents picked us up for the drive south. Tonight we are sleeping in Oak Harbor in the San Juan Islands. Sunday we will head south.
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