September 9, 2011

Letters from the Pacific Crest Trail #10

We Made It!

Hello All!! We have made it!!

Bluegrass and I crossed over into Canada and completed the Pacific Crest Trail on the 4th of September, 135 days after leaving El Campo. It is hard to believe we have "finished".

I was unprepared for the rush of emotions I experienced upon seeing Monument 78, the Northern Terminus of the PCT. Tears came unexpectedly, as did smiles and hugs and a sigh of relief - and the urge to turn around that walk south most definitely invaded my mind (didn't see that one coming). We had walked 2683 miles and yet I was not really ready to stop walking - strange, wouldn't you say?

There was no fanfare; no ribbon to cross or medal to receive. The people we met as we walked into Manning Park, Canada, just one mile from the trailhead, had no idea what the PCT was - and made comments like, "Oh, of course, I used to do that as a kid".

I didn't want, nor did I expect, a grand applause or a banner announcing our arrival, but I was disheartened, I must admit. It is the traditional marathon syndrome; you train and prepare and run the race and then, well, you have crossed the line and taken your emergency blanket and go on with your life.

But in this instance, it has been a bit more difficult for me. Training and running this "race" has consumed my life for the last year - I left Portland last September with plans of hiking the trail underway. In April we headed south to San Diego and then turned around and started, on foot, heading north..... And now we have walked as far north as the trail will take us.

I am sad, elated, disappointed, celebratory, hollow, full.

We have been off the trail less than one week and yet it seems so far away - I work not to forget the feeling of freedom the trail brings and look to the future with fervor and zeal – but it will take some days, I suppose, to make sense of my mind and heart and give my tired legs a rest.

I have great plans for tomorrow, too many to sort out…… For the past 135 days I have been free to dream and imagine and create – now it is time to turn these visions into 3-D techni-color.

With love and open arms I thank each of you for your support, love, and trust.

Those whom are loved are the rich; I am the wealthiest person I know.