Stevens Pass to Manning Park was a section filled with a whole spectrum of emotions. This section, not quite 200 miles, is the beginning of the end. It is exciting to end but yet sad to end. Add to that an exciting stop at a bakery and threat of trail closure due to another forest fire and it quite a hike to the finish.
After the first 108 miles of the section, we came to one of the most talked about trail stops, Stehekin. Stehekin is a wonderful very small town accessed only by foot, ferry or float plane. It also happens to have a very, very good bakery, a stop on the Forest Service bus ride from the trail crossing into town. For hungry hikers, this was an irresistible draw up the trail. It certainly lived up to the hype with all sorts of delicious goodies.
Leaving Stehekin, there were only 90 miles plus the anxiety of a possible trail closure due to fire. So close to the end yet so far away! Everyone was questioning whether we would all make it to Canada. Thank God, though, the trail remained open and four days later we walked across the border and into Canada.
It has been quite the year on the PCT and the adventure is not over yet. Due to many miles of trail closure in Oregon, including a crucial resupply, Oregon will wait until next year.
More final thoughts on the trail later!