Barbara Egbert, her husband, Gary Chambers, and their 10-year-old daughter, Mary Chambers, set off April 8 from the Mexican border to hike the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. As Gary and Mary trudge on, Barbara is temporarily sidelined by an abscessed tooth and severe shin splints.
Mile 2,448, Day 163
This trail angel work is hard. I'm traveling to Seattle to buy more gear for the cold, wet weather. From Mary's journal: We woke up at 5. During the day, we had a scary, boot-soaking stream crossing. Ugh! We hiked 23 miles.
Mile, 2,472, Day 164
Today I picked up Mary and Gary at Stevens Pass on Highway 2 in Oregon's Cascade Mountains. They hiked 65 miles in the last three days.
Mile 2,550, Day 169
From Mary's journal: We walk over Suiattle Pass in snow showers of varying length and density. We saw some wonderful "coconut" fungus. Today's total: 22 miles, 11 hours.
Mile 2,589, Day 170
From Mary's journal: Mommy is going to be with us now! We've only got four more days!
Mile 2,597, Day 171
We hike from Rainy Pass in deep snow and make slow progress. We camp in the snow, well below freezing.
Mile 2,620, Day 172
We walk 26 miles but fail to get over Slate Peak. The snow is pretty deep, and it's hard to see the route in the dark. Gary calls a halt, and we camp near Harts Pass at 6,198 feet.
Mile 2,620, Day 173
We try again to cross Slate Peak, but high winds blow the snow horizontally and knock Mary off her feet. Conditions are too dangerous to continue. A deer hunter gives us a ride from Harts Pass down to Mazama, Wash. We are very discouraged.
Mile 2,620, Day 174
We take a rest day, buy some gear in Winthrop, Wash., and work out an alternate route over Buckskin Pass and into the valley of the Middle Fork of the Pasayten River. I'm worried about the snow -- a storm is forecast to arrive tomorrow evening.
Mile 2,636, Day 175
We get a ride back to Harts Pass and proceed over Buckskin Pass. Snow is sometimes deep but never impassable.
Mile 2,652, Day 176
We move fast, cross Frosty Pass at about 6,500 feet and rejoin the official PCT route at Castle Pass. We hurry on the remaining four miles to the border, arriving there at 4:30 p.m. Mary kisses the PCT monument on the Canada border. We all whoop and holler, hug and kiss.
Mile 2,659, Day 177
Oct. 26 is our last day on the trail. We break camp just inside Canada, but return to the monument for a few minutes to savor our success before walking the last seven miles to the car.