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@e.wriggs

@e.wriggs

PCT Northern Terminus

Through desert sands, mountain snows and valley forests we have walked. All beyond now is simply life in the knowledge that we have lived – Ethan “Spook” Wrigglesworth, official PCT completee.

I will forever remember these past 6 months as the most challenging and rewarding both physically and mentally. To those I have met along the way and shared trail time with, I thank you for the memories and for being some of the most awe inspiring people I will ever meet.

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@mollymdws

@mollymdws

PCT Northern Terminus

I walked 2660 miles from Mexico to Canada. My body is mighty but it is my will that walked me here. Walking up, walking down, walking whilst soaked in sweat, walking whilst soaked in rain, walking through miles upon miles of snow, walking over mountains, walking through rivers, walking across sands, walking hurt, walking frustrated, walking bored. I walked for 173 days, almost 6 months of my life, but I got there.

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Mile 2393 to Mile 2408

Mile 2393 to Mile 2408

Snoqualmie had been an absolute treat, but the call of the trail was strong and drew us back to the PCT by midday. Refreshed, rested and clean from our stay, we were all ready to embark on the last two weeks of our journey. Straight out from town was a pretty hefty climb. With an elevation gain of 2,500ft over 5 miles, we took the head down and sweat it out approach.

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Mile 2384 to Mile 2393

Mile 2384 to Mile 2393

Snoqualmie

With the efforts of the day before, we had set ourselves up beautifully to enter Snoqualmie. Only 9 miles away lay our last true Nero of the trail with feather beds, laundry, showers and all. From Mirror Lake to town, the trail gradually rolled through forests and traversed ridgelines before dropping down onto the now green slopes of Snoqualmie ski resort.

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Mile 2361 to Mile 2384

Mile 2361 to Mile 2384

Mirror Lake

We were now only a day from Snoqualmie, our next Nero stop with feather bed and resupply. This section from White Pass hadn’t been the most engaging in terms of beauty, and this day was to be yet another walk through the forests. The density of wood kept us away from views with the additional aid of low lying cloud and fog. The sun did eventually win the sky back though, and soon we were walking through burn area meadows filled with huckleberries enjoying the new days heat.

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Mile 2337 to Mile 2361

Mile 2337 to Mile 2361

The morning started with mottled skies and a long walk through a burn area whose scorched ground was giving rise to wild strawberries. The burn lasted all morning until we climbed a hill with sparse woodland to a view point of Mt Rainier. We had lunch here with Will and Audrey, and were sparked into deep discussions of US gun laws after all passing a day hiker with a large pistol strapped to his belt.

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Mile 2315 to Mile 2337

Mile 2315 to Mile 2337

Martinson Gap

The rain had dissipated to a light misty drizzle by the time we awoke. The upper canopy of the trees was shrouded in cloud as we meandered from the ridge down to lake and forest. We were closing in on Chinook Pass, the location at which potential magic awaited us, but before the climb Will lost a bet and jumped into one of the alpine lakes. We stood around laughing and hiding an inner jealousy, the muggy weather had made the morning hike sticky work and an alpine dip looked delightfully refreshing.

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Mile 2295 to Mile 2315

Mile 2295 to Mile 2315

The pitter patter of rain roused us from sleep. We intended to get out and back on trail like any normal day, but the rain drove us to hang around the gas station store and café for a little while at least. Around 10 we finally decided to head out as the rain had slowed to a drizzle and we were slowly beginning to vortex in the warmth of the café.

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Mile 2276 to Mile 2295

Mile 2276 to Mile 2295

The Knife's Edge

The first thing we did when we awoke was check the skies and the horizon. The sky was a clear blue and the horizon was tinged in a warm sun rise light, today was going to be a good day. The reason for these checks was to ensure that as we did Knife’s Edge ridge this morning we were going to have stunning views and that was certainly the case.

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Mile 2254 to Mile 2276

Mile 2254 to Mile 2276

Goat Rocks Wilderness

It was a beautiful blue skied morning as we left the meadow we had camped in. A couple of SOBO hikers came round the corner buzzing from their first bear sighting, but unfortunately it had scarpered by the time we walked past. We climbed up a ridge with southerly views of Mt Adams and soon found ourselves in the bowl of Cispus Pass and Yakima reservation area.

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Mile 2230 to Mile 2254

Mile 2230 to Mile 2254

The one down side to catching up with trail friends, is that you inevitably have to say goodbye. We left Prometheus and Not A Minor by the creek as we got back on the trail and started the first climb of the day. It was a nice gradual climb that took us from dense forest to open burn area.

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Mile 2212 to Mile 2230

Mile 2212 to Mile 2230

MAGIC!

If I were to describe this day in one word, it would be magic. At the end of the day before, SOBO hikers told us of trail magic just down the line. Molly and I had camped 3 miles from the trail head where it was supposed to be and, having packed up fast, we marched those miles away. We didn’t want to get there too early with the risk of the angels not having awoken yet, so while eager to arrive we plodded along through the damp forest that had somehow experienced rain whilst avoiding us.

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Mile 2186 to Mile 2212

Mile 2186 to Mile 2212

It was dark in our patch of woods. The dense canopy above restricted the light passing through. We got up before the others and continued our way up the large hill that we had camped a third of the way up. It wasn’t too steep, but stiff sleepy legs struggled to power our bodies up.

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Mile 2158 to Mile 2186

Mile 2158 to Mile 2186

Both Molly and I were excited for our first full day in Washington. As we left camp we could see Mt Hood standing tall behind us and Mt Adams before us. A small climb started the day followed by a long descent that took us down the equivalent distance we had climbed the night before, a little frustrating but it’s just how this last state would be.

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