Ballard and Walker: PCT Thru-Hikers

Blame Canada

Evening was rapidly approaching, and we still had eight miles of trail and a 1200-foot climb to go. Unfortunately the PCT does not end at the border, where civilization is just out of reach, so weary hikers must curtail their celebrations for one last push. But before we headed off into the woods again, we added our own parting words to the monument's spiral-bound notebook.

September 16

The March of Pines (Blame Canada!)

Feet ache, shirt reeks.
Legs ache, socks defiled.
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

Bugs in my face.
Bugs in our food.
Bugs in my bowel.
Uh-oh, quick, pass me the trowel.
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

Snickers for breakfast.
Snickers for lunch.
Dinner out of our pot.
Watch my teeth rot.
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

Dirt under my toenails.
Shoes smell like snails.
There's grime in my ears.
Recovery will take years.
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

"The Pacific Crest?" friends asked.
"Surely you must jest."
Well, we all know the rest.
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

Over two-thousand-three-hundred miles,
And 132 days too.
Through mountain, desert and rain.
So much potential for discomfort and pain.
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

A March of Pines,
From Campo to Manning.
Lodgepole and the Foxtail.
How'd we end up with such silly names?
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

Danger here, danger there.
Ever since Kennedy Meadows Store.
I've believed I could end up dead
If I didn't remember what "Meadow Ed said."
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

The Mojave was steaming,
Washington was drenching,
The Sierra was rugged,
And Crater Lake is deep,
Now we are done
And don't know whether to laugh or weep.
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

We will be back
For blisters anew
Several unhiked sections await
For our thru-hike to be true
Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

We had the time of our lives
And hope you did too.
O Canada! O Canada!

Duffy 'Lodgepole Pine' Ballard
Angela 'Foxtail Pine' Walker"


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