Day 170: Last Days of Beauty

We’re getting incredibly close to Canada. We passed the 2,600-mile mark midday today, which meant there were only 50 miles left until the border. Tonight, we’re camped just 43 miles from the border. That…doesn’t even sound like much to us at all. That’s just a couple of days. This is getting really close!

We’re lucky that, at least so far, these last few days don’t disappoint at all. Today, we came over a pass that was just spectacular — mountains stretched out in all directions, with bare rock, scattered trees, magnificent fall colors, and patches of snow on the highest peaks. It reminded me a lot of some of the High Sierra passes that we went over, except in a completely different-looking set of mountains. We stood at the top and just sort of gaped, and all the other hikers who came along did the exact same thing. Washington is an amazing place. It’s a real treat to be able to spend this time here, and see this part of the country that I’ve never seen before.

It’s also beginning to really feel like fall. It was downright chilly at the top of the pass, with a cold, stiff breeze blowing. The colors of the trees on the way up, and the occasional downed leaves from the few deciduous trees around, really did their part to make it clear that the seasons are turning. The change in the length of days has been evident for a long time; we go to sleep in the dark and wake up in the dark, very different from how it was in the middle of summer. But this…this really feels like seasons are changing. It feels deeply fitting, as if this is nature’s signal to us that it really is time to be done with this amazing, grand adventure and go on to whatever’s next.

Just three more days. Three more! I can’t believe it. It still isn’t real to me. But I’m excited!

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