Mile 2574. 89 miles to the finish.
Last spoke to Astro (Andy) last Wednesday morning as he headed back on the trail through a very remote area – destination Stehekin. This is where his very last food drop is and today is the very last day he can catch the boat to get to the Post Office, that has very limited hours, to pick it up. Hoping to hear from him, but word is that there is no cell coverage and the satellite phone at the lodge is $5 a minute. Will he make it there and will he call?
At least he’s got new rain gear — over-nighted to him at the last stop – the weather is reporting rain. Imagine rain in the Pacific Northwest in October, duh.
When we last spoke Andy he reported his leg is doing better, the sensation is coming back. Only problem is he has been over compensating with the left side of his body for so long that he’s out of balance – the left side is much stronger than the right. Crazy – but if you talk to any PCT-thru hiker they’ve all got some kind of bodily pain, injury, break, or bruise – it just goes with the territory – especially at mile 2574!
Tomorrow Andy’s step-dad, Michael, leaves to join Andy on the trail at Rainy Pass to hike the 68 miles to the finish at Manning Park, Canada. Michael has been in Andy’s life now for over thirteen years – he is an out-doorsy guy and loves hiking, biking and fishing. It was Michael who nurtured and kindled the love affair of nature and the outdoors for Andy through camping, back backing and mountain climbing. Together they have climbed Mt. Whitney and Mt. Rainier. It is with both enthusiasm and trepidation that I wish him ‘safe journey.’ Happy that he will accompany Andy on this last leg, concern over his ability to endure the elements and difficult terrain. I am soothed by the fact that Andy will be greatly comforted by Michael’s presence.
In another minor mini miracle, two other hikers will be joining Michael and Andy at Rainy Pass as they cross over from Washington into Canada. Fellow PCT-thru hiker and friend ‘Gourmet’ (Marc Fendel), who started with Andy in April and finished the PCT a few weeks ago is going along for the ride. And Gourmet’s friend, fellow Seattleite Dave Leffmann, will be joining as well. All of this came about through our favorite Trail Angel Deon English!
I’m in the midst of making plans to meet Andy at the end of the trail in Manning Park, Canada. I’ve got some surprises, that I’ve got to keep under wraps for now, lest he get wind and find out because I’ve written about them in the blog.
News Flash: Just heard from Astro. Said its been absolutely miserable out there the last few days – cold and rainy every day and all of his stuff is completely wet. He said he shivered on the trail and worried about hypothermia. He decided at the last minute to take a detour by himself to a town called Holden Village, a little Lutheran Village . . . . only accessible by boat unless . . . . . . . . you’ll have to keep following!