Thursday, September 20, 2018
The northern monument marks the end of the PCT but not the end of hiking; I still had five miles to walk to Manning Park today. Along the way I met curious day hikers and PCT hikers heading to meet friends at the border after abandoning their own hikes. The fourth law of hiking: The likelihood of an object being far away directly increases in proportion to the number of people asking ‘am I almost there?’.
I considered hiking the Mt. Frosty loop trail, but wasn’t enthusiastic in the rainy weather – it has returned – and stayed on the PCT until I reached the highway. There I met a fellow waiting to pick up his son, who was scheduled to finish the PCT today. My mother is a terrible worrier (as frantic as you can imagine, then more frantic) but my father is mellow, so when the man was asking me questions like ‘has it been cold?’ or ‘have you had snow?’ I was all like ‘yes mate, it’s been freezing, it snowed and rained and hailed for a week’ before I realized that he was a worried parent and therefore needed the appropriate responses (lies). My apologies to any sons/daughters whose parents I may have unduly worried during my trip. He offered me a ride the rest of the way to the lodge, but I liked the idea of finishing on my feet, so I declined and walked the rest of the way.
I was surprised by the amount of infrastructure at Manning Park, which has restaurants, a shop, a lodge, cabins, a hostel, a laundry, etc. In the parking lot I was approached by a shuttle driver who asked whether I wanted a ride into Hope, since he was looking to fill more seats in his car. I wanted to do laundry prior to arriving in Vancouver, so I kept with my original plan of staying one night at the hostel in Manning Park.
The employees at the lodge reception desk were lovely. I asked whether I could borrow a recharging cord for my phone, and they did have a spare one that they lent me in exchange for a credit card as collateral. I was also able to use the computer in their lobby, but the Internet was so slow as to be almost useless. With much wanting-to-hit-the-computerness I managed to book a plane ticket home for tomorrow. Vancouver is a great city and I would recommend touring it to anyone who hasn’t been there before, but I’ve spent a lot of time there and prefer the thought of going home. The last remaining challenge will be catching a ride tomorrow.
The hostel is warm and rainless and posh! It has private rooms (with one shared bathroom) for a hostel price, and soap and shampoo are provided. There’s even a Reader’s Digest. Ahhhh, text on paper…