The morning is beautiful. It’s sunny, around 70 degrees, blue skies everywhere. We hike to a peak with a great view, but everyone is out of water so we don’t stay long and instead descend and eat snacks at the lovely glacier-fed Hopkins Lake.
We leave the lake singing and running down the trail. How can it be that I’m nearly in Canada already? It’s taken almost 6 months, yet in so many ways, I’m still in the desert just starting. What about all of the problems? What about all the amazing-ness? Time is an ever expanding and contracting heart.
From down the trail I hear Cracker Jack and Polar Bear’s “Whoop!” They must be there. I’m right behind Think and Goose. I turn the bend and they are all sitting about 60 feet from the monument, which is hidden around the corner. They thought it was only right that we all get there at the same time. We sit on our pads and wait patiently for V. We have amazing willpower.
V arrives just a short while later. Cracker Jack wants to film us, so he sets up a camera and then we storm the monument, shouting and jubilant. Then we stop the camera and watch ourselves storming the monument. Super funny. We spend the next hour and a half screaming with delight, taking photos of each other, screaming some more, toasting to our journey and each other, singing, dancing, signing the register and hugging.
Around the corner from the monument is a huge camp site. It’s strange to have this kind of space to spread out. We set up our tents, make a fire, and then sit all on top of each other while we eat. It’s our last trail meal, our last night camping, our last battle with mini bears.
We listen to music and want to party, but are getting cold and tired. I pile on more clothes and crawl into my tent. I get a little teary-eyed looking at all the gear that has played such a part of this trek for the past six months. I came to love and depend on these simple, silly things; my Smart Water bottle, zip lock baggies, orange plastic spoon. And my tent. I’ve loved this tent.
I pull the zipper closed and slowly come down.