Mexico
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2007-09-22 …and I’m done!

September 22nd, 2007

So I’ve done it. I have actually walked all the way up the west coast of America. I’m obviously a little stunned by this all so it may take a little time for my brain to settle down and deal with it all.

The night was the worst I’ve experienced on the trail (except maybe the second night, when it snowed). The rain was going non-stop and the sudden wind gusts were really worrying. Several times I heard a dramatic flapping from the direction of Lucky Joe’s tarp. One of his poles had collapsed and he was having one hell of a night. A small river formed across his ground sheet, pooling around his shoulders and a frog had decided to join him for comfort.

It quietened down in the early hours and I got just a little bit of sleep. I awoke to a calmer world and set off up the hill after breaking the ice off my tent.

The last few days have been tough and it’s still kicking us in the arse. It was snowing and the clouds swirled up the slopes, over and beyond me. Lucky Joe wasn’t far behind and we were both shivering the whole time. I was dragging my poles with my fingers balled up in my fists just staving off complete numbness.

PCT

When we could see far enough around us it was a beautiful scene with a light dusting of snow on the rocks, the bushes and the oh-so familiar trail. Woody Pass was nothing like you’d expect and only worth mentioning because that was the point the snow got even stronger. It did eventually abate, and there were even sunny moments. All the while I was doing the sums and counting down our miles. I wasn’t thinking about the end, how far we’d come, how this was not just a town stop. I was just measuring the miles I had to walk and the time I wanted to be done by. I’ll be relieved when that is just memory. Soon we overtook the Noodleheads and emerged into a clear-cut. Then I saw it.

The line running down the hill. 20ft wide and running west to east it was the border. In four short switchbacks I was there, whooping and hollering. I even broke out a little dance.
PCT

We spent a while doing the usual. Taking photos, signing the book, reading who else had passed this way and finally getting around to lunch. A german couple came in from the Canadian side. They’d walked in the eight miles and were surprised to see people already there.
PCT

Lucky Joe, Angelhair, Rigatoni and SunWalker/Heaps

With the festivities over we began the final walk. It was eight miles to the road and a 1,000ft climb made it feel just like home. Nothing had really changed yet. We were still in the woods, still marching and still getting rained on. It didn’t matter though. We were done, the real world waited for us at the road.

Easy, Lizard, Samurai Joe and Monty were at Manning Park and left not long after we arrived. We four got a room at the lodge and have begun our cleansing. That shower felt so good. The dirt left me and I shall not stink that much for a very long time. My feet have dried and I’ve called home. The adventure is over, now it’s re-entry.

Quote of the day: “Have you come far?” The german tourist


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Distance today: 23 miles. Total distance: 2663.5 miles

Google Maps

31 Responses to “2007-09-22 …and I’m done!”

  1. Denis Says:

    Congratulation Craig. Well done that boy!

  2. Roger Says:

    So we expect you back at work by Thursday do we :-) .

    I’ll put you in for a couple of JIRA’s by the end of the week :-) Not too much, just enough to get your feet back under your desk… :-)

    Roger

  3. Roger Says:

    p.s. Congratulations from all here at Navman. It was a monumentous achievement.

    Well Done.

  4. Roger Says:

    p.p.s. Why does the Google Maps Link show you somewhere in the middle of Northern France. Have you just been swanning around enjoying all that French food and wine for the last five months and all the photo’s etc have just been bluescreened :-)

    R

  5. Denis Says:

    Blame the geographically-challenged administrator. In my eagerness to publish this post, which got lost somewhere by PocketMail and had to be resent twice, I entered two longitudes and no latitude. This implausible location somehow turned out to be in northern France. ( possibly in an area previously known as ‘No man’s land’ ?)

  6. Richard Says:

    Way to go Craig. Congratulations. Take it easy and let those great memories bed in. Sounds like you finished just in time, weather-wise.

  7. walked 2663 miles - now what? | besthike.com - the blog Says:

    [...] PCT2007 » Blog Archive » 2007-09-22 …and I’m done! [...]

  8. Tom Says:

    I assumed you had to walk back again to get your car…
    Congratulations, see you in NZ soon. Just warning you – you won’t be able to find your desk, recognise half the people here or find half the people you used to know. Or log in.

  9. Gavin Says:

    U r a crazy b*****d but we take our hats off to U for living the dream (hmmm maybe…nightmare).

    Congrats and see u back in NZ. Remember to clean the boots off cos customs are a picky sort… :)

  10. Bill Says:

    Congrats bro. Seems like you left only the other day. :)
    I’m curious what you said to the Germans though?

  11. Claudia Lively Says:

    All Right!!! Vic and I were wondering yesterday how far you were. you are welcome here on your way (I am holding a hostage!)

    Hope to see you soon. Love, Claudia

  12. Peter Says:

    :D

    See you soon buddy.

  13. Thomas Says:

    You’ve done it. Yes you’ve done, yes yes you have *loud yells from the crowd* (a random cheer leading squad comes out and does a dance to celebrate your success). You’re our inspiration to reach for our dreams and see the good in life big brother. =]

  14. Jed Says:

    Yay Craigy boy you have finally done it. The sites have been amazing. I can’t wait until you come back home. You’re my hero big brother.

  15. James Says:

    Amazing!!! Well done that man! See you soon Craigus! :)

  16. Alison Says:

    Fantastic. Cheers went up here when we heard you had crossed into Canada and reached Manning Park. The weather and temperatures were evidently deteriorating. Pleased to know you are safe, well and warming up!

    Alison

  17. Anna Says:

    WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO! Bloody Awesome. Now go get some icecream and a foot massage :-)

  18. Dave O Says:

    Excellent stuff!!! Congrats on all the hard work!!! I’m sure that after walking in excess of 4,200km that you are due a nice cold beer when you return to NZ…
    I notice there is only a subtle difference between the borders – one has a barbed/razor wire fence and the other a 20ft wide gap in the woods…

  19. Roger and Lori Pynappel Says:

    Congrats Craig,with that huge achievement behind you I would assume that your outlook on life will never be the same.Good luck on your future endeavours.

  20. Nana & Grandad Says:

    Craig – Congratulations – your sheer determination has shown
    up – see you soon – Nana & Grandad

  21. girl scout Says:

    congrats sunwalker!! i know how you feel!! :) so, do you know of any other lead weights that made it to canada?

  22. Rolling Thunder Says:

    Congrats! Enjoy the achievement… Odd feeling to finish though, eh? Good luck with re-entry.
    JH

  23. Steve & Peggy Porto Says:

    Congratulations!! We were glad to have met you along the way. Our best to you.
    Peggy & Steve Porto

  24. Denis Says:

    11 March 2006. Red Crater of Mt Tongariro.

    PCT

    The beginning of a plan. Bethany, aka Gloves, PCT class of ‘05, is writing “Pacific Crest Trail” on a piece of paper for Craig, now SunWalker, graduate of PCT 2007

  25. Craig Says:

    To Girl Scout-
    Nope, as far as I know I am the only fool to carry a lead weight to Canada. let me know if anyone contacts you to correct that statement.

  26. Lance And Jan Says:

    We are so pleased to see you successfully complete such a challenging task. Your postings and photos have allowed us to be part of your experience. We admire your courage and fortitude in facing all the tests it has thrown at you.

    I guess that with the winter conditions kicking in over the last few days you were pleased that you reached the end prior to the kick in of the big snows and bad weather.

    Enjoy the return into the real world. I hope it measures up!

  27. Joël Says:

    congratulations from Switzerland! I landed on your blog as a user of your GIS software and I enjoyed following what you wrote. cool! I’d like to that too but maybe I’d prefer heading south from the mexican border and not north (especially after what you wrote in the last days), hehe :-)

  28. Eric Says:

    Hey Craig! I know I am late to the party, but congrats on this epic achievement. I had thought my measly 50 miler was grand, but this is wonderful to hear that you pushed through all the ups and downs (both lit and fig) to finally reach Canada.

    Another PCT hiker made the local newspaper, he finished the day before you.
    http://www.sacbee.com/107/story/401094.html

    Happy Trails!

  29. Ultrabrite Says:

    hi Craig!
    i read some of your journal. the best comment i got at manning park was similar to yours: a man asked if i’d been hiking.
    hope your transition back to work/life went well. i enjoyed meeting you and your father too.
    Ultrabrite, Lauren

  30. David J. Pierce Says:

    Hi Craig,

    Wow!!!! What an amazing experience for you & your friends. I’m sorry I didn’t know you were planning this. I would have loved to have followed your exploits. My late congrats go out to you all. Thanks so much for sharing this trip with us as you have. I’ve been finding what you did so amazing as I continue to go through your log. Thanks again,mate!!!!

  31. Recline Says:

    Sunwalker,

    Good to hear from you. Congratulations on your finish of the PCT and how cool it must have been to walk across Japan!

    It was great to meet you and your father on the trail. I hope your adventures continue on!

    If you want to read the final PCT 2007 Trail Register Northern Terminus, I made a virtual book out of it. Go to:

    http://www.trailregisters.com

    Keep in touch with me!

    Recline