Day 133 – it’s official

August 14, 2016

Bushcamp (mile 2399.9) to bushcamp (2421.9)

Miles: 22

Our total miles: 2015.6

Andy woke up to gaze at the stars. He saw a satellite but no shooting stars. Laurie rolled over a few times and thought about looking for a shooting star but could not will her eyes open.

We were walking by 6:45am. The air was refreshing but warm. We could tell it was going to be another hot day. 

We dropped down to a river, then climbed up towards a ridge. We were graced with views of Mt. Rainier in the distance and jagged, rocky peaks surrounding us. 

We passed another small tent city on top of a grassy ridge. 

We traversed across scree slopes, gazing down to dark blue lakes below. It was ankle twisting walking and we stopped frequently to take in the views.

Sunlight slowly casted a golden shadow on the hill opposite from where we stood. We could see Joe Lake and the trail we had come over the day before.

Around 9:30 we passed 3 small pools and the 2 French women (Diane and Colleen) who we have seen frequently since the Urich Cabin. 

Again we dropped down and then climbed. We turned a corner and were treated to more spectacular views of more gagged peaks.

Every 100 mile marker we stop and kiss. It has become our little tradition. After our 406.3 mile jump our century milestones are different than most people’s but with a little calculation we can easily figure it out.

Today we crossed the 2000 mile marker. Laurie was ahead of Andy, lost in her own thoughts. He called to her to stop. She did and walked back to where he was standing. We congratulated one another and kissed as we do normally. However this time, there was more to the celebration.

Andy dropped to one knee, pulled out a candy ring and asked Laurie to marry him. 

She said yes!

Together we have walked over 2,000 miles, climbed up 14,000 foot peaks, fought off thousands of mosquitoes and shared many moments of sheer delight, frustration and exhaustion. For both of us, this hike has been more enjoyable and tolerable because we have done it together.

We are excited to spend the rest of our lives climbing moutains, biking up hills and traveling the world – together.

We laughed at ourselves as we tried to stretch the plastic ring so it would fit on Laurie’s finger. Neither of us were sure which hand the ring was supposed to go on so Laurie resorted to sucking on the candy instead. 

Why a candy ring you ask? Laurie mentioned to Andy a long time ago she wanted someone to propose to her with a candy ring and he remembered. 

We took a few photos and continued on to yet another expansive and breath taking view.

A deep blue lake lay beneath a cluster of jagged peaks dotted with snow.

We descended 2200 feet distracting ourselves with talks of where we could get married, what kind of wedding we wanted and how many people we would invite. The only thing we decided in that 1 hour descent was that we would both wear trail runners.

We paused at a waterfall to get water. Laurie cooled off in a pool while Andy chatted with Diane and Colleen who were getting ready to leave.

We hiked down some more through a burn area. Fireweed was everywhere and Laurie was in heaven. She loves this pink flower.

We crossed a few more creeks, some with bridges and one without. We discovered delicious huckleberries and sat for a short lunch before starting the 5 mile and 2300 foot climb.

As we climbed we negotiated over and around 71 down trees. We had been warned about down trees but everyone said different things. Even today, when we asked 2 guys that were hiking together, one said the trail was a mess and the second guy said there were only 4 to 5 problem trees.

We agree, there were less than 10 of the more difficult trees to get around, but 71 is far from 4 to 5!

We switchbacked up the hill, mainly in the shade for which we were both very thankful. It was hot and we were sweating. 

Andy had beads of sweat forming on his cheeks. We dunked our hats in cool streams but within 10 minutes they were dry. The sunlight and heat did make for the sweetest thimbleberries we have ever had. Bright red and sweet thimbleberries lined the trail. We stopped to pick until we couldn’t handle the heat anymore.

Close to 5 pm we reached the top of the climb. We stopped to get water from a tarn and both jumped in. The water was surprisingly warm and felt so refreshing.

From here it was a gentle up and then long down to camp. We walked through alpine tundra, past two small lakes and down through thick brush. 

Less than a tenth away from our planned tentsite we heard voices and saw people setting up where we had hoped to camp. 

Man! 

We were near a flatish spot so we decided to make it work.

We ate dinner and quickly got into bed. We only hiked 22 miles but with the emotions of the day plus elevation gain and loss and climbing over trees, we were both pooped!

Tonight we are grateful to be sharing this experience together and for ripe thimbleberries.

Woohoo!! 2000 miles down

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69 thoughts on “Day 133 – it’s official

    • Hey Paige, thanks for your support! We’re glad you are enjoying our blog and highly encourage you to hike the trail next year. It’s an amazing experience. Do it, do it ☺☺

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  1. Wow! (See, people really are following your blog.) After reading most of your posts (not every one, sorry), I think all of us have seen what a great thing the two of you have together. We are excited for you. Congratulations.

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    • Haha! Thank you. We don’t expect anyone to read all the posts- there are so many but we are pleased to hear you are reading the important ones 🙂 thanks again for all the clif bars- they are such a treat!

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  2. Congratulations Laurie & Andy! I am so happy for you both & wish you a lifetime full of great adventures together!
    I admire your determination and am proud of your daily accomplishments and am REALLY enjoying your posts. Keep up the great work!
    Miss you!
    Hugs!
    Karen

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  3. Congratulations to you both ! I mentioned to my husband that you would pop the question at the Canadian border here while back . I was wrong but it was the perfect place ,time and well , what a romantic ring .

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  4. You two are the best !! How wonderful – Chris and I are sooooo excited for you. Andy, quite the proposal style !! very hard to beat. Can’t wait to celebrate a bit with you sometime soon-ish.
    Yay !!!!

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  5. WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!! Congratulations you two. Happy for 2000 miles and happy you found each other to share this adventure and the rest of your lives with!!!

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    • Thanks Rachel! We hope you are well and finding time to play outside of work. Sorry it didn’t work to connect in the Pacific Northwest- with our jump through the sierras all of our planning went out the window and it got too complicated to figure it logistics for visitors. Hugs!

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  6. Congratulations to you both and wishing you many years of happiness and fulfillment. I continue to love your adventure and style of blogging. Love to see pictures of the different berries you refer to.

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  7. Congratulations!!! We love your blog. So happy for you both. We just got back from an overnight hike in Manning Park and we thought of you both out there on the PCT 🙂 -Erin & Erick (Summerland, BC)

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  8. Congratulations to both of you. I thrilled that you have made a life long commitment to each other and to your health and fitness. Love the ring, Andy!!

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  9. Dear Andy and Laurie
    Congratulations!!! May GOD bless and keep you both healthy and happy through your life journey together. Can’t hold my tears out of happiness. The ring and the color green is stunning and hilarious.
    Love you both.

    NAMASTE

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  10. Congrats and thanks so much for the updates, you guys are unbelievable, you rock, I’m amazed and impressed and and and….
    Isabella mother of Hector and Calvin

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  11. Laurie and Andy, How wonderful that you want to share all of life’s adventures together. I wish you all the very best. Your daily journals express your love for each other as well as the amazing earth we live on. I look forward to celebrating with you when you get back to the Bay Area. All my love, Donnie

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  12. Congratulations you two!! I am so happy for you both and literally squealed with delight as I read this post at WORK! Wishing you a life of love, happiness, and health.

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  13. Congrats….you made me cry reading about it!! I’ve been following you all the way from the start and feel like i’ve gotten to know you both. I am so happy for both of you!!

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  14. Congratulations! How exciting! You need to slow down though, what will I read whenread when you finish 😀

    My husband and I drove through Sisters last weekend and were able to give a PCT through hiker a ride. It was beyond exciting to chat with him!

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  15. In the few days I spent with you guys it became apparent what a fabulous couple you two make. Wishing you much happiness on the remainder of your PCT hike, and all the adventures yet to come.

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  16. Congratulations to both of you! I would have congratulated you in Stehekin had I known. Your friendliness and concern for others tell me you will be great partners and parents! (Assuming you have those plans…. =) — Ed Lyons

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