From Jones Creek Campground to Portland
It’s our last day of riding, and it will be the most miles we’ve ridden in one day since our very first. Our numbers have swollen: Nick’s brother and J’s brother’s girlfriend went back to Portland by car, but J’s brother is riding with us, bringing us up to five. The dudes have me roundly out-numbered today.
(I had wondered, before I started the PCT, if I was embarking on a dude-fest. I was pleased to find a huge, vibrant community of women on the PCT. Solo hikers, pairs, halves of couples like myself – lots off strong ladies out there killin it! Just not today.)
No messing around, we start the day with the final uphill over the coastal range. After the climb comes the long downhill. I keep my hands off the brakes and my head down and rocket full-speed ahead. Fast never felt so good, so dangerous, so free! Pacman comes in just behind me, relieved that his tire didn’t decide to blow.
With that over, we just have a long ride to Portland.
Nick guides us in the back way on a maze of country-roads winding through vineyards and farms and sugar-laden blackberry hedges, all under an impeccably blue sky. We ride and ride and ride.
We stop to get lunch on the outskirts of town. I haven’t been this tired in a while. During the wait for my sandwich decide to tally up my miles – something I haven’t done for a while. “Hey guys, guess what? Today’s the day we hit 2000 miles of self-powered travel!”
We cheers, Dirtnap and I high-five. I finish my lunch feeling pleased with myself.
We grind out the rest of our miles behind Nick’s lead. Backcountry roads transition to hills, to suburbs, to city-streets, and finally, Nick’s house. We made it. We made it. Only one state left to go. Washington, PCT, here we come.
(No pictures! Too busy making miles!)