We camped at Lindeman before heading on to Bennett. This campsite was HUGE. Two separate sites to camp, an interpretive tent with photos, letters, and memorabilia from Lindeman City during the rush, and tent housing for a few rangers who stayed on site at the camp to welcome hikers and give everyone a general check up, making sure we were all relatively healthy and of sound mind at the end of the journey.
We woke the next day to our final breakfast on the trail. More oatmeal! Then it was time to pack up and hit it once again for our final day of hiking. We were both happy and sad to know this was the final day. Tomorrow would mean a ride back to Skagway on the train, a hot meal, and eventually, a hot shower. But today, we were still enjoying what was left of our adventure and our final hike out of the woods of the Chilkoot Trail.
We arrived in Bennett with little pomp and circumstance. Seeing the train depot in this abandoned town made the going home part very real for me. It was an interesting experience to walk out of the wilderness and right back into civilization.
Our first order of business was to unload and cache our scented items for the last time, then find a place to set up our tent for the last time, then eat ramon noodles on the trail… for the last time.
The next morning we woke early and packed up our goods. The train depot opened at 10:30am for hikers to come in and eat steaming bowls of stew, cold slaw, bread (I ate so much bread!), cold water/tea/coffee, and some (delicious) apple pie. The train arrived around 12:00 and hikers were separated from the tourists on the train. While we were welcome to mingle when the tourists were off the train, we ate in separate dining rooms (ours was in the back of the depot) and rode on separate train cars. This segregation was, of course, because of the smell of the hikers. As one person put it to me; “The tourists are happy to hear your stories, they just don’t want to smell you.“
I found this to be humorous… the closer we got to Bennett, the more signs of civilized life I’d see. One sign was after EVERY ascent, Canada set out benches for you to rest a bit before continuing on. We never used the benches, but I suppose it’s a nice treat to have them waiting for you if you need them!
The last mile or so into Bennett is all sand. Right there in the middle of the woods!
Enjoying our last meal on the trail with the group of folks who were hiking within a day of us on the trail. All good people!
That’s a lotta Ramen! (we boiled out all the sodium )
This shot is for Liz, the Canadian mother-in-law I always wanted, but never got!
This final shot the night before heading out of Bennett on the train, I think sums up the feeling at the end of the trip. This was image was captured by one of the other hikers, Chad, and I’m forever appreciative to him for grabbing this of Andrea and me. (Thanks, Chad!)
And that’s all for the Chilkoot Trail!
We did have more adventures on the way down to Skagway and back home to the Valley. But these posts summed up the hike, which was a pretty grand adventure in and of itself.
Stay tuned for the hike we have planned for 2012!