Day 113 | mile 2648.9 - 2660.0 | 11.1 miles
I kept the InReach on all night to get updates from Alex. His flight was delayed. Then he had a long drive from Seattle to Manning Park. I was worried about him driving tired all night, so I’d wake up every hour or so to read his updates.
Alex made it to Manning Park at 5. Originally, we were going to meet at the border at 8. But then delayed it to 9 so he could get a little bit of sleep. I had been sleeping off and on since 9. So I was well-rested and ready to GO at 5:30. Haha. I only had 3.5 miles to hike to the border. Alex had to hike 8.
I had breakfast. One last oatmeal. Made tea. I laid in my tent and sleeping bag trying (unsuccessfully) to clear my head and meditate. My heart was racing and my feet were fidgeting. I put on a podcast to relax. My two camping partners packed up and left. People were passing by on their way to the border.
Finally, at 8, I packed everything into my bag one last time and started hiking. I collapsed my poles and put them in my backpack too. It was an easy 3.5 mile downhill and my hands were cold.
That hour lasted forever. I cried. I sang Hamilton.
Finally, at 9:10, I went down the last set of switchbacks. I spotted Alex first. Then the monument. What a joy.
What a joy to be in his arms anywhere. But especially at the Canadian border after completing this hike, looking at this beautiful monument. We were alone in this clearing in the woods. Time stood still and I cried and cried.
We took some pictures. Rachel joined us. I had met her that awful wet morning in Glacier Peak Wilderness. Offered to give her a ride to Vancouver.
Started hiking to Manning Park when Alex realized he didn’t have his phone. Went back and found it. The 8 mile hike seemed really short. We chatted and held hands. Alex brought Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwiches and donut holes. I had saved the cinnamon roll I got in Stehekin. I was ready for some real food though.
WE WERE IN CANADA!!!! We stopped at a Greek Islands restaurant in Abbotsford. I had the best greek salad. The salad dressing was lemony, creamy with feta cheese, and everything I wanted. I got a breakfast wrap. The bread was to die for.
If you’d like to enjoy food like you’ve never enjoyed anything in your life, go for a hike for a few days (or months). Everything is amazing.
I drove the rest of the way to Vancouver to try to give Alex a break. Of course, he didn’t sleep a wink. Dropped Rachel off at the Greyhound station, then drove to the hotel. Parking was $45 overnight. Oof. Alex says, "Canadian dollars though!"
John and Lena generously paid for the hotel. It was LUXE! The view of downtown Vancouver was amazing. I took the most glorious shower, enjoyed the fluffiest towels, put on the softest robe. We took a nap. Well, Alex took a nap. I was pinching myself. I couldn’t believe I was done.
My hiker hunger hasn’t gone away yet. I was trying to figure out how to optimize our dining experience in Vancouver. It has so much good food. Finally got Alex out of bed. Alex brought me my favorite clothes. I put on jeans, my pretty pale pink top, and a cashmere sweater. My feet still hurt walking around, but putting on my comfy shoes was like walking on a cloud.
We walked to a ramen shop. Then a Korean dessert shop for some mango snow and Nutella stuffed croissant panini thing.
Back at the hotel, we were exhausted. 11 pm is way past my bedtime. And Alex had barely gotten any sleep the night before. We willed ourselves to get into our swimsuits to go to the hot tub. (Gotta use all the hotel facilities!) But turns out the pool closes at 9.
We happily got into bed and promptly passed out.