Day 243: 19 miles
This morning we all woke up early in the cemetery. Sparkle started playing “My Way” by Frank Sinatra off of her phone. Today Sparkle and Trucker complete the entire ECT! And they did it their way. They will be the 7th and 8th individuals ever to complete the ECT from Key West to Newfoundland. Sparkle will be the first woman ever to complete it.
As I packed up I listened to the song and it fit the moment so perfectly. There have been a lot of ups and downs this year, but all of us did this hike our own way. That’s what’s so incredible about thru hiking. I know that I still have about 1700 miles remaining across Alabama and Florida. But I’m still excited to close the book on this chapter and complete Canada.
Once we were packed up we got moving. There were only 19 miles remaining before we got to the Tim Hortons near Caribou and officially finished the IAT. It was a really nice morning walking along the road. We saw some deer and a fawn which made me really happy. Our first stretch of the day we walked for about 3-4 hours. Then we passed through New Glasgow.
There was a grocery store that we stopped at for some lunch. I got a sushi roll, a spinach and cheese danish, and some drinks. We hung out there for a while and relished in the moment. This is our last time side-questing along the IAT for food. I’m gonna miss hiking with Sparkle and Trucker.
Once we finish hiking today we are actually going to taxi back to this town of New Glasgow. We’ll spend the night here and then take a bus to Halifax tomorrow.
After eating at the store we continued along. It was around 11:30am and we only had to walk for a couple more hours. The route brought us through town and then along a pretty busy highway. Then eventually we crossed the bridge into Pictou. That meant that we were nearing the end of our journey.
By 1:40pm we were getting close to the Tim Hortons. I cannot believe that we are about to finish the IAT! A 1500~ mile adventure across Canada. It’s been a wild ride. With all of the cumulative miles hiked this year it puts an odd perspective on mileage. But I have realized recently just how long the IAT truly is. It’s a full thru hike in and of itself. We hiked the entire thing in 60 days, with 14 zero days. Only 74 total days spent along the IAT. Most of those zeros were spent waiting for Sparkle to catch up, then waiting for shoes to arrive, and traveling between provinces. We certainly didn’t rest much along this journey.
Around 2:30pm we arrived at the Tim Hortons. It was such an odd feeling but a bit anticlimactic. Finishing a thru hike without a terminus is a unique experience. But once we got to the coffee shop, ordered drinks, and sat down, it began to sink in. We treated ourselves to possibly our last Tim Hortons pumpkin spiced latte ever. That’s been my Canadian staple. Then we sat there for a little while before taxiing over to the holiday inn express in New Glasgow.
Once we got to the hotel we all showered and relaxed. Sparkle went thrift shopping and I talked on the phone with my dad for a long while. It felt so good to be done, truly. On Sparkle’s way back from the thrift store she brought back food for Trucker and I. We ate some delicious A&W. Then Sparkle and I wound up going in the hot tub by the pool. She also went down the pools water slide about 10 times like a happy little kid.
When we got back to the room I showered again. Then I wound up sewing my shorts which had a bunch of holes in them. I also got in touch with a hiking friend Beer Run. He’s about to finish the continental divide trail (CDT) in New Mexico. Then he plans to hike the florida trail. So he just might meet me in Alabama to head south together! We will see.
I wound up staying up super late on my phone. I did some writing and then finally booked accommodations for Alabama. I’m planning on flying into Birmingham and then staying at a hotel a short drive from the airport. The room is incredibly affordable which is great. I want to finally be able to rest and relax for a few days before I embark on the final leg of my adventure. Then I will head back to Pinhoti Outdoor Center in Sylacauga and spend a day or two there before heading south.
It’s going to be wonderful to be able to take a few days off to rest my body. And the timing might just work out perfectly for my friend to meet up with me and hike together. Today marks the end of a huge chapter along my ECT journey. And the beginning of my next adventure, hiking from Alabama to Key West to complete the ECT.
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