11th September 2015

Mileage 23.2

Bushcamp (2637.1) to Canadian Bushcamp 2660.3

Miles to Canada 0, I’m in Canada.

I’ll just cut to the chase, I just hiked from Mexico to Canada. Every step of the way. A distance of 4293km (2668 miles) in 146 days 4 hours and 35 minutes. I lost a total of 15kg (33lb) and feeling very exhausted at the moment. As I write this it’s emotional. For me it’s a big deal.

I hiked 23 miles today to reach the Canadian border, known to us hikers as ‘the monument’. When I arrived my Canadian friends Paul and Sally were there to greet me, complete with a beer and some Dr Pepper. What a place for trail magic and so great to have friends greet me there. Three other hikers, Johnny Walker, Leopard Sauce and You Again were there too. I may have shed a tear, as I mentioned it was emotional.

For me, for my version of this hike, for my adventure it was important that I hiked every step. No skipping or hitching around sections, no flipping ahead to other sections and walking around any trail closures. I hiked every step of the way and very proud of that fact. I achieved my goal.

As I hiked this hike I had an amazing pleasure to meet and hike with amazing people. They enhanced the trip and I must thank them so much. Thank you also to all the people who left kind messages on this blog and my BikeHikeSafari Facebook site. In hard and lonely times my spirits were lifted. Also a big thank you to Doug and Marilyn for their hospitality and help at the start of the hike and storing my cycling luggage. And a big thank you to Paul and Sally for meeting me at the monument at the Canadian border and looking after me in Canada. Good luck to Sally as she hikes the PCT in 2016. Thanks also to introducing me to your friends and hiking group from Vancouver. It’s a strange but welcoming feeling to meet all these people who read this blog.

Anybody planning to hike the PCT in 2016? If so, send me a private message on my Contact Me page. I may be able to assist with answers to questions, but hopefully if you’ve read this blog from start to finish your questions may have already been answered. Good luck with your hike.

If anybody has liked my blog and has spare money, please make a donation to PCTA who manage the trail. They need funds to keep the trail going. For more info visit the PCTA Donations Page.

In coming days I’ll write a review of my gear (what worked for me and what didn’t), work out how much money I spent, provide advice on blogging and photographing the hike, provide a list of useful websites or Phone Apps, update some of the pages on my website and answer THE most important question any future PCT hiker should ask. If I hiked the PCT again, what would I do differently? 

For now I’ll have a very short couple of days rest with friends in Vancouver and Palm Springs before starting my cycling journey from ‘The Golden Gate Bridge to The Panama Canal’. 

Thank you all. This is not the end, just a part of my lifelong goal to Bike, Hike and explore this planet. Living the dream.

Brad McCartney / Shepherd.

You might be interested in:

The Complete Pacific Great Trail Guide
The Complete Continental Divide Trail Guide
The Complete Appalachian Trail Guide
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

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10am

  
  

celebrating with a Dr Pepper

 

Shepherd celebrating with Leopard Sauce, johnny Walker and You Again

 

Shepherd celebratibg with Leopard Sauce, Sneezel and Backwise

 

Sally and Paul hiked to the monument to meet me

 

Michelle, Ebby, John, Paul, Me (Shepherd), Amy, Bob, Sally. Part of my reintegration program into normal society!

 

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113 Responses

  1. ADL

    Congratulations on a job well done! Over the past 3 years I’ve read many journals, mostly PCT, and yours ranks very high. So thanks for the inspirational read that I will carry along on my future hikes. Dave T/ADL (67)

    Reply
  2. stevet

    Yes, just arriving in Budapest tomorrow. Thank you for you advise those many moons ago on the Darwin cycle path. You said just use the bike you have and go. Well, we did that, booked a ticket, put a couple of panniers on and started riding. Been a lot of fun.
    cheers
    stevet

    Reply
  3. stevet

    Well done Brad, wonderful blog, felt like I was there with you the whole time. Great aussie grit shown. Look forward to the next bike blog. Safe traveling and riding.
    cheers
    stevet

    Reply
  4. mjirving

    Congrats Shepherd! A great hike and a great blog! It was great to meet you on-trail on the north edge of the Mohave crossing and to contribute a few calories to your success. Great job!

    -GoalTech

    Reply
  5. Laurence Penman

    Well done Brad, your reports will help heaps of hiker. Did you find what you were looking for?
    cheers, Laurence Penman, Anna Bay Australia

    Reply
  6. Sally

    Brad, it was a pleasure having you stay with us in Vancouver. You are always welcome here. Watching you cross the boarder was pretty awesome! It was very special to be there, with you, on that joyful sunny afternoon. I will always remember it.

    Reply
  7. yogacatie

    Congratulations! It’s been a pleasure following your blog, you’ve been about a week ahead of us the whole trail so I got great sneak peaks of what’s to come! Cheers! Comet

    Reply
  8. Deb

    Congratulations! I also have read your blog since the beginning. One of the best. Thank you so much for all that you shared. Rest well, and safe travels on your bike trip.

    Reply
  9. Joseph Fallavollita

    So happy for you! So sad its over though.. Cant wait for the next great adventure to start!

    Reply
  10. Laurent laskar

    Cheers brother!! Passed u by little bear springs on my section hike to Tehachapi.. Had fun continuing the journey through you and other hikers… Good luck on your future adventures!!

    Reply
  11. Aaron Durbin

    I had a blast following your hike as I told my friend “I always check BikeHikeSafari’s blog at work as he has the best pics”. I am planning on a transition in my life starting with a PCT hike on my birthday in 2016. Keep exploring and testing the limits.

    Reply
  12. Michelle

    Brad – You are an absolutely amazing and wonderful person. I feel very privileged to have met you at the end of your journey and be a part of your reintegratation into society 🙂 Again super big congratulations!!! Meghan & I will continue to follow your travels and cheer you on! All the best to you – cheers to your future travels!!

    Reply
  13. Mike

    Hey Brad – I have followed you the entire trip, I have read every entry, and looked at every picture. I asked you a few questions, and got honest, quick replies. You have been a blessing to me this year, and have again strengthened my resolve to one day walk along that ‘long brown line’ from Mexico to Canada. Well done, mate! God bless you in your further ventures, and I look forward to reading more about your explorations. I have bookmarked your website, and will be a regular, for sure. What a great summer. Thanks for taking us along on your journey. Again, God bless you, Brad.

    Reply
  14. Alex

    Hi Shepherd,
    Fantastic achievement! I have been following a number of blogs since ADZPCTKO and yours has been the most enjoyable. Thank you for sharing your trail with us.
    You have inspired me to give it a go next year and my flight is now booked! If you ever pass through London on your travels, I would like to buy you a beer…..or a Dr Pepper! But dont come between May and September……
    I am looking forward to your next adventure and your PCT gear review 🙂
    Alex (UK)

    Reply
  15. Thea

    Congratulations!! I enjoyed your journey thru here and looking forward to the next one. I still cannot believe your pack weights only 7.5 kgs or so. My pack for over night hiking weights 10kgs (and more, I believe)!
    What kind of feeling is that you wake up and realize you don’t have to hike anymore after 4-5 months of constant hiking?

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks Thea. My body is really sore and stiff from the hike and extremely tired. But in a couple of days I should be fine, ready for my next adventure

      Reply
  16. Roy Beyer

    When do you plan on your next journey, are you going home for a while to rest and recuperate…Will will notified on this site when your start your next journey..

    Reply
  17. kenbigtrain

    Well done mate. Enjoyed every post and picture. Wish you luck on you next adventure. Keep looking up when you get down, as it is truly a wonderful world out there to see everyday!!

    Reply
  18. anna

    Congrats mate!! Has been great to follow your journey! All the best for the next chapter, and looking forward to seeing more from you!

    Reply
  19. Paulo Coelho

    Congrats !!!!! Well done… it was so good following your diary on PCT… “Abraço” from Lisboa, Portugal!

    Reply
  20. Roger Moir

    Mate it’s been wonderful following your journey everyday after work here in Brisbane. I hiked the Te Araroa trail down NZ a few years ago so I have an idea of what you have put yourself through and will be doing the PCT in a few years when I retire. You have given me a great insite into the PCT and I thank you very much. Good luck on your travels. Regards Roger. Moir

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks Roger. I’ve hiked a lot in New Zealand, there was a lot of talk on the PCT about the Te Araroa trail. I think a lot of Americans will be hiking in New Zealand in coming years. Good luck with the planning and hiking of the pct, you will love it.

      Reply
  21. sgmdwk

    Congratulations! A marvelous achievement, indeed. I have followed your entire journey from Campo. I especially thank you for your fantastic photography. You have really brought the feeling of the trail to your readers through your images. I look forward to following your ongoing adventure.

    Reply
  22. Heather

    Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment! Many of us can only dream of completing a trek such as the PCT. Thank you for taking us along on the trip and for sharing your wonderful photographs and thoughts.

    Reply
  23. techylady1

    Congratulations! I enjoyed reading you blog. I really enjoyed the pictures and saved many of them to make them my screensaver. What a wonderful adventure.

    Reply
  24. AR.

    Congratulations. If I was going to be home in Southern California, I would hand you a glass-bottle Dr. Pepper (made with sugar) as you ride to Panama. Since I won’t be here as you go by, I’ll just tell you can buy them at Walmart.
    I just accepted a lay-off/buy-out at work so I may be able to hike the PCT next year.
    I’ll continue to follow your adventures as you live them.
    -AR

    Reply
  25. Karen

    Well, you made it!!!! All the previous posts have said and asked pretty much everything I wanted to say or ask. But thank you sooo much for the beautiful pictures and story. I will be watching for your wrap it up story. You are such a good writer. Thanks again!

    Reply
  26. Marc

    Congratulations Brad! I’ve followed your trip since the beginning. Thanks so much for your excellent posts – great observations and super photos! I’m sorry I missed meeting you when you passed through Plumas County in early July.. Good luck on your next adventure!

    Reply
  27. ed

    Congratulations on your adventure. Enjoyed all your photos! Your blog does answer a lot of the questions about thru hiking. Blogging every day had to be a huge effort on your part but I appreciate the effort. Congratulations again on your walk from Mexico to Canada !!!

    Reply
  28. Packman

    Congratulations Mr. BHS. Fantastic blog. Should be required reading for anyone even thinking about a PCT thru hike. You handled the challenges with planning, courage and determination,,and that’s what it takes. Cheers,,Packman

    Reply
  29. hikeinspired

    Congrats Sir!!! I am very proud of u for pushing through! I hope someday I can say I have done the same. I was going to ask if u would follow up with a rating on your gear but I see u plan to post something. Wow good work! Can’t wait to see your next journey unfold 😉

    Reply
  30. Ryan

    I really enjoyed following your experiences and pictures this year! Congratulations on a well deserved finish!

    Reply
  31. Bob

    Oh, if you make it to Palm Springs, give me a heads up, would love to treat you to a beer and dinner. What an accomplishment, that I can only dream of. Stellar!!

    Reply
  32. Mike

    Wow! So impressed with your accomplishments! I look forward to reading your recap. It was so fun to follow you every “step” of the way. Thank you so much again for your blog and your honest assessment of your hiking experience.

    Reply
  33. Sarah - Redmond WA

    Woo hoo! I’m glad the skies cleared for you the last couple of days on the trail.

    Reply
  34. Chris McElwee (@chrismc)

    I loved following your blog! Your pics were amazing and it was fun to get to know you through the blog. Congrats to you, you grit and determination is inspiring! I am looking forward to your post hike thoughts!

    Reply
  35. northboundhiker

    Congratulations Shepherd!!! You are an incredible inspiration to everyone on trail and off trail. You just accomplished something so many people can only dream of. Enjoy every second of your huge achievement and to complete it in 146 days is another statement altogether.

    Now make sure you don’t rest up too much because there are many of us in wait of further daily posts and we want to see that beautiful scenery on your way to Panama. So as they say – “On yer bike mate!” 🙂

    I’m very happy for you Brad! And thanks for bringing it home to us!

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks mate. I’ll be on the bike soon, but first my body needs rest. I can’t explain in words just how taxing the hike is, the bike ride seems downright restful.

      Reply
  36. solohikerblog

    Amazing! Well done! I’ve very much enjoyed following your journey, thank you so much for sharing.
    I can’t imagine the feeling of finishing something so grand. Well done!

    Reply
  37. Jayne

    May your adventures continue with many blessings of good health, safety, joy, and helpful folk along the way.

    Reply
  38. Dot

    Congratulations!!!! Thank you for sharing your experience, blog, photo’s and thoughts throughout your journey. I will continue to follow the rest of your journeys in the future.
    ps….I did chat with Dirty bowl…..she mentioned she saw you. 🙂

    Reply
  39. jessica59

    Congrats! Reading about your trip was amazing! Thanks for sharing. Are you going to blog during your cycling trip?

    Reply
  40. Alison

    Incredible, Brad! Congratulations on a truly amazing accomplishment. Of course I am super-impressed that you hiked every single step of the PCT (WOW!), but I also can;t believe that you kept up with your commitment to blog about every single day on the trail. That’s an amazing feat, too! I absolutely enjoyed following your adventure and am look forward to what comes next for you. Enjoy some well-earned relaxation before you get on that bike. Way to go!!!

    Reply
  41. Ian

    Congrats! I’ll be there one day as well I hope, but thank you for taking us along on the journey. It’s not easy to keep writing every day I’m sure, but all of us who can’t be there appreciate the effort. Good luck to you in all your future endeavors. Hope you keep blogging as well.

    Reply

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