We see the sights of Lassen National Park. A steaming geyser, a
boiling green lake, pits of sulfurous bubbling mud.
I have no peace of mind. I often consider blowing off school
to finish the trail, which would also mean leaving my girlfriend
Camella to move to Chicago alone. I can't make the decision.
For some reason I really enjoy the walk into Old Station through
rows of mature trees. We finally talk openly of stopping at the
Oregon border, and again Pete greatly helps me to reduce my sense
of failure. I promise to decide by Burney Falls, but really my mind
is already made up. The burden is lifted.
We buy tons of bottled water to prepare for the dry stretch on the
Hat Creek Rim. An attempt to walk by moonlight fails, our bodies can't
take the stumbling caused by unseen objects. We stop and drift to sleep
on the long dry grass, beneath the enormous moon.
The Hat Creek Rim is indeed hot, dry, and dusty. The dust infiltrates
all clothing, settles in against the skin and chaffs, especially the feet.
But I am happy. The walk seems to have started all over for me. Pete points
out Mt. Shasta in the distance, and I eagerly await a closer look. There
is no pressure to do miles, so I once again begin to experience my
surroundings, and find them foreign and amazing.
| Pete's Journal