Sun, 24 Oct 1999

Day 121

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 09:20 pm
Bridgewater, VA to Gladstone, VA
7465 mi

Linda gets up, makes coffee, and graciously allows me to photograph her in her bathrobe as I’ve forgotten to take any pictures here. I try putting some hot coffee in my insulated water bottle, and discover the extremely pleasant sensation of riding through the cold morning while taking sips of steaming hot coffee. The whole body tingles with delight, relishing the contrast.

I take a little rural road with no traffic into Waynesboro. Farms all the way, coffee all gone, it’s hard to find a concealed place to pee. I go in the open, hoping for the half-hour it seems to last that no one comes along the road. At one point a car approaches in the distance, but politely turns away without coming near.

The main problem on my mind is how to reach my friend Lisa in Raleigh without my address book. I try a few times to call Camella, but no luck.

In Waynesboro I eat breakfast at Weasel’s Kitchen. First menu I’ve seen with grits on it.

Blue Ridge

It’s an easy pass over the Blue Ridge. I see a string of Appalachian Trail hikers headed south. Making my way south along the foothills, I pass a ski area and lots of nice views. In Colleen I pass an ice cream stand. In an unusual display, I decide I don’t want it enough to really enjoy it. Wow. In Norwood, I’m unsure about what to do at an intersection. I turn right. The road seems to go too far east, but I stick with it.

Ridge Color

On one of many small hills, my chain catches and I have to stop. A big guy in overalls on a tractor stops to talk to me. Wayne Mundy is bushhoggin’, which he has to translate for me as cutting the grass. He owns a big piece of land in this picturesque area. It has a great mineral water spring, he says, and offers me a drink. After parking the tractor down the road a bit, I follow him on foot up a wooded path. The spring is in an old, roofless house with names and dates from the 1800′s carved in it. Mineral deposits of orange and white crystals surround the cold, tasty water. Wayne asks if I ever camp in a spot like this without permission. I say yes, and ask him what he’d do if he found me on his property. “Hell, once I foun’ out what yew was doin’ I guess I’d let ya be. Long as yew wasn’t down here smokin’ dope or nuthin. I wouldn’t tolerate anything like that. But I spose I’d let yuh stay.” He then offers to let me camp on his land if I want to. It’s a little early, but I accept. He leads me to a nice bushhogged spot where I set up and read awhile.

After sundown he and his wife Denise come down and talk awhile. They’re nice folks.

I go to sleep surrounded by noisy deer.

Sun, 28 Jul 1996

Postscript (Pete)

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 08:47 pm

Scott “LETITBE” Williamson. Made it, without Psycho Ken all the way back down to Red’s Meadow by November. A persistent snow storm forced him to prudently abandon his quest there at the gateway to the serious High Sierra. In April of 1997 he set out from Campo alone. His second attempt in as many years to yo-yo the PCT. Hopefully twice he will pass our spot of abandonment in the Siskayou Mountains. A three hundred yard side trip up the south framing hill of Jackson Pass would reveal to him a mid sized cairn of rocks. Buried underneath of which in an airtight container lies a second skin, a symbol of our journey waiting to be reborn, waiting to be out of style.

Sat, 20 Jul 1996

Day 93 on (Pete)

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 08:32 pm

The end: Terrain is zipping by at a fantastic rate. By the time I finish recounting the last few days we will have traveled far more than a days walk. Really, it is a testament to our trek that it will take me twenty one hours at sixty five miles an hour in a strait shot to return to the latitude from which we set out on a wandering meandering path. Granted, that twenty one hours would be a little shorted if it weren’t on the Greyhound.

It was a mere three or four miles to the California Oregon border from our camp the last day. They went quick. Soon enough we found ourselves traversing a slope above “Donomore” meadows ascending to the line on the north side. We whooped and hollered. Dyl faced California and screamed out, “I just walked 1,700 miles and its the craziest thing I’ve ever done.” In many ways, however, I feel our jubilation was part obligatory. Just more evidence that the internal spiritual mental boundaries don’t coincide with the physical geographical ones. There were several times along the way that I felt those internal crossings. The most memorable for me was the evening descent out of the High Sierra into Tuolomne Meadows. In retrospect, I think I should have let myself go at those moments. Instead, my emotions were checked and packed away for later. They are still in there. Probably they will leak out continually here and there over the next few years. Possibly the damn will break and they will inexplicably rush forth at some awkward time. In the laundromat, the grocery. We will see.

“We were on a hike, now we are on a road trip.” Dylan made the official proclamation of the psychological end of the walk. We had maybe four miles until road twenty; and, we were quite conscious we could very well end up walking its thirty five mile length. Twenty minutes after hitting Jackson pass, for us named after the Wyoming town where the trip was conceived, we were dished up a red Mazda RX-7. It didn’t look like there was any room in the little hatch back; but, we stuck out our thumbs anyway. The motion could be analogous to pulling a slot lever. The result, in that case, being screaming lights and a crashing river of change. Jackpot.

Karen’s window rolled down and Michael hunched down to talk to us through it, “We would give you a ride but we really don’t have any room in this car. Where are you going?”

“To the Interstate.”

“Where are you coming from?” We plainly told them that we had begun walking over three months ago a the Mexican Border and that we were just now finished with our journey. They looked at us for a moment and promptly hatched open the hatchback. Mike offered me some advice, “Now Peter, when you meet the president it’s important to get your suit dry cleaned and pressed.” We road tent style, accumulating a thick layer of dust, to the junction with a road to a junction with the road to Hyatt Lake. It quickly became apparent that the Higgins’s were going to go neck in neck with Ashley for the most hospitable people on earth title. They offered to buy us a celebratory lunch in Ashland. We couldn’t refuse. In the coarse of the meal Mike offered to house us for the night and loan us the identical twin to the RX-7 for zipping over to Hyatt Lake. So, by the afternoon, we were showered and fed and had spent some quality time screaming around mountain roads in a red sports car. At dinner, Mike mistakenly popped open a 1973 bottle of wine. We were grateful but informed him that we were actually born in ’72. The next night, our invitation extended, he remedied the gaff with a ’72 “Actually,” he informed us, “’72 was a poor year in California and in Europe.” So, we are destined to drink bad wine on our birthdays if we are going to do it right. We had a lot of fun with those two over the three days we stayed there. Although, the jury may still be out of Mike and Dyl’s pizza cook off. They told us they were recently retired, had relocated to their country home, and were quite lonely. We were company and it was fun for them too. Johnny Cash was sold out but we decided to try our luck anyway. We walked up the steps right into some guy selling two seated tickets at less than the box office price. Right as Johnny was kicking in and I had a chance to sip my beer a little, I commented to Dyl, “Man, these are great seats we really got lucky runnin’ into that guy.”

“We’re glad you like them.” Startled, I turned to see, on my immediate left, the guy that sold us the tickets and his smiling wife. We even ran into Ashley and the gang from the bar. He declined the drink we offered him but did take up our offer to go sit in one of the good seats for a spell. Mike made an excellent cheesecake to celebrate Dylan’s birthday. He also gave us a ride to the Medford bus station at three thirty a.m.. It’s funny in a way that such a drawn out wilderness experience did so much to restore our faith in the good nature of humanity. We didn’t see too many people but 100% they were fabulous.

The oath was signed in the Hyatt Lake trail register. We will return July 19th, 2020 to walk the nine hundred remaining miles to Canada. Twice as old as we are now, forty eight. No one believes we will wait that long.

There is a little boy in the seat across the isle. He reached out and touched the pacifier on my trail necklace. I found it lying on the trail side one day. Blue for a boy. His comment to his younger sister was lost to me because of language difference. He returned his gaze to me and I showed him the only other object on the necklace. A bone.

Tue, 16 Jul 1996

Day 92 (Pete)

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 08:45 pm

Dylan remarked this morning that he was experiencing a yo-yo of emotions. Elated and exited to have the trip almost over thus subsiding the agony. Hopeless and despondent about the prospect of leaving this life for “civilization.” I had a dream last night. It took place in my childhood home in Laramie Wyoming. Something, some sort of oppressive force was coming down on me. Frantically, I ran all over the house grabbing my gear and packing it in my pack. Kicking myself the whole time, “You should always keep a pack packed. You should always be ready to go.” Dylan came in the back door smiling with his pack on. Close behind I saw a 50′s era beat cop approaching the front door. Anyone that went to the front door of that house was generally unwelcome. Including, on at least one occasion, the police. Giggling, I maneuvered around so I could fit myself with pack head first out the window into a shrub. The bulk and weight of the pack was very real and ever present. Reaching back up, I grabbed Dyl’s pack and pulled him through. We lit out down the alley, still giggling. At the end was the ditch containing Spring Creek which we could inconspicuously follow north east then east to the base of the Laramie Range at the edge of town. The mountains unmistakably meant safety. I think it may be hard to return to life inside the walls. The border, now three and a half miles further, is pulling us strongly toward it. Interestingly, the last time I felt anxiety about coming change was back when the days were quickly sliding by to April 16th. That was three months ago today. Yesterday Dylan looked back south to the horizon and quiveringly commented, “We have done an amazing thing.” We turned away from each other and silence took us. It was too powerful.

It will be strange as well to part with this man next to me. I have watched him change drastically as he has me. A large part of who we each are now goes hand in hand with the other. Sometimes we singsong conversations in a ridiculous Rogers and Hammerstein style. Sometimes I narrate third person in my best action hero adventure narrator voice and Dyl adds sound effects. Soon we wont talk, communicate, or even see each other. This part of my life is ending.

Sun, 14 Jul 1996

Day 90

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 08:42 pm

I’m writing this one on the pine top of the Wildwood Bar. There’s no one here but me and Dyl. He’s tending bar. Ashley, the owner and proprietor, is upstairs taking care of some business with the bar maid. B.B. King is playing out of four speakers. We are two happy men. Lord life is good.

THE UNABONGER told us that upon entering Seiad Valley bypass the store and post office and head strait down the road a mile more to the Wildwood Lodge. This is advice directly contrary to the instincts of every hiker. Handfuls of blackberries on the side of the highway were not satiating the either of us. Coming upon the store in a down pour we were drastically disappointed to find it closed. In need of some food we remembered back to his advice. After a failed attempt to call the place for directions, we sullenly set out in the rain in hopefully the right direction.

It looked warm and inviting. About ten people were sitting around the bar with a couple more shooting pool. Noticing our hesitation upon seeing the closed sign a woman on the porch told us, “He didn’t notice the last two people that went in there.” Dyl sauntered up to the bar and declared, “We heard thirty miles back on the trail that you make a mean pizza.” Ashley, the owner and proprietor, put his hands on the rail hung his head in dismay and offered up a wide grin. “So, you two met THE UNABONGER.” We laughed in realization of THE UNABONGER’S wake of destruction “The cook,” he told us “is drunk.”

“That always made the pizza better when I was cookin’ it.” Dyl volleyed. With my privileged seat at the bar I could see Ashley stumbling around the kitchen violently chopping up vegetables and hand tossing the crust. A true pizza Artist. Though cutting a clean cut image with his close cropped hair and red polo shirt, Ashley had clearly out drunk every long haired biker hippie redneck in the Wildwood Lodge.

The pizza was absolutely exquisite. We told him we didn’t care as long as there was no meat. I’ve never eaten a pizza with carrots and turnips and beets on it before. Certainly not the fresh from the garden out back variety. People gradually meandered off or were thrown out by the bar maid who was putting up a good second to Ashley’s belligerence. He told us we could camp out in the yard. We thanked him and returned the favor by asking if there was anything we could do for the two of them. “Yea,” he mumbled “get on this side of the bar and we will get on that side.” Once behind the taps, I asked him what he was drinkin’ and he flatly replied, “Diet Pepsi.” I got him his order from the fridge and served it up. “Beer gets so fuckin’ old.” He stuck out his tongue in disgust. A man that knows what he’s talking about. Dyl and I began to clean up the bar. The bar maid walked out to her car with Ashley. They hung out a spell before coming back in and heading right up the stairs. We were left to hold down the fort. Stuffed in a little nook behind the bar was a yellow afro wig. I tossed it to Dyl who promptly put it on.

We swept up and put all the bottles in the bin and all the dishes in the kitchen. Dyl was wiping everything down so I went back to the sink and began to run the water for dishes. A chorus of yells erupted from somewhere upstairs. Ashley immediately appeared stark naked and dripping on the stair well. Seeing my good intentions he laughed, slapped his leg and quickly explained to me that running the sink cut off all the hot water in the shower. I apologized and gave up on the cleaning to sit and write all of the above.

The bar maid and Ashley returned and lit each others cigarette. She dragged on hers staring intently at the yellow fro wig on Dyl’s head. “You can’t wear that wig without strippin’.”

“Bar tradition.” Ashley was grinningly backing her all the way. Dylan, unbeknownst to them, has quite a history of getting naked in public situations and was free of his cloths in no time. He wandered around the bar and they went back out to her car. Momentarily, Ashley was yelling for him. “Hey! Get out here. You gotta’ stand on the double yellow line of the highway!” Dyl stood and even cartwheeled to the dry clapping and whoops from a group sitting at a picnic table in front of the neighboring trailer park.

He went to put his cloths back on. The bar maid drove off and I set about to making some phone calls. Ashley has put on Jethro Tull, CRANKED it, and is rocking a mean air guitar. Not ten minutes had passed when Dyl all wide eyed came up to me, “Ashley told me there were two beds upstairs, that we were welcome to stay, and then he just drove off.”

Those Marble mountains were beautiful. I had no idea they even existed. Now, I will never forget. The walk has reaffirmed some things for me. There are beautiful places on earth that not too many people know about or go to. For the first time since before I was too naive to know better, I think there are plenty of beautiful people on earth too. Lots of ‘em. At a campground six miles up from Seiad a woman made us some sandwiches. Someone else gave us pack food. Ashley, in addition to leaving his home and business in our hands merely hours after meeting him, made us a pizza when his bar was closed and he was obviously in poor shape. It was a damn good one at that. We are close to Oregon. The border is our destination. We will go to Hyatt Lake to get Dyl’s birthday cake from the P.O.. We may, though, hitch there so we have time to get to Johnny Cash playing on Dyl’s birthday in Jacksonville. I love life so much that I have to hold back sentimental tears for things that are happening to me right now.

Sat, 13 Jul 1996

Day 89 (Pete)

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 08:36 pm

Today we pushed through the heart of the Marble Mountain Wilderness to near the other side. In the morning we begin a day long 4,400 ft. descent from our perch on “The Big Ridge” to Seiad Valley and the Klamath River. Yesterday evening and the whole of today have been remarkable. These mountains are very rugged and secluded. More so, they were completely unexpected. The rocky ridge we stumbled upon merely minutes after leaving THE UNABONGER behind has stayed with us ever since. Its merely a matter of which side of it we are on. Marble Mountain is in fact a mountain of marble. The porous stone is abundant here. Consequently, there are many caves and fissures that could prove interesting grounds for exploring. As old habits die hard, we just kept pushing through.

Talking to that guy yesterday gave me some interesting insights. His fishing pole kept him preoccupied with lakes. All terrain to the north was described to us in terms of lakes. We passed many of them today; Cliff Lake, Man Eatin’ Lake, which the guide invited us to go for a swim in, and many others. They were spectacular sights. Perhaps I appreciated them more as a result of his enthusiastic descriptions. More importantly, I realized how varied peoples interpretations of the land are. When he described what was to come I had trouble following him. I don’t think in lakes. Patrick and Kay described upcoming terrain in terms of various places we could side trip out for ice cream. I can’t consciously say what my markers are now. In the High Sierras it was passes and dangerous river crossings. Even further back it was springs and other water sources. Most of the snow will be gone from those passes by the time THE UNABONGER gets there. To his disadvantage, many of the springs will be dry as well. His demarcation of lakes as he heads south from the mountains will be stripped to its essence. WATER. Where is water. How far is water. I guarantee he wont be pouring five oz. in his bong in order to give himself a case of dry mouth.

Fri, 12 Jul 1996

Day 88 (Pete)

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 09:32 pm

Good thing Dylan didn’t tell me we had gone eight miles before breakfast. I would have been irate. Seriously, we seemed to have a supercharged morning. I felt a little like my old self. Early on, today took shape as our time to heap on those extra miles. It also shaped up as a hot one. We traversed the glorious Russian River canyon and cut over to the sunnier side of the ridge. Begrudgingly, I took off my sport coat. Otherwise I would simply sweat out more than our four and a half liter water carrying capacity. There were sixteen hot miles between our cool breakfast creek and Shelly Lake. Dylan empathetically stated, “I’m sure there are lots of business executives that take their coat off at some point during the day.” Yet, as I rolled up my sleeves he quipped, “Up… now your getting blue collar.” Who’s he to talk. Just previously a woman passing on a hoarse commented that Dyl was, “Not properly dressed.” Soon enough; my sleeves were rolled up, my tie was loose, my shirt was half unbuttoned, and both pant legs were rolled up like knickers. By lunch, the suit had become clothes. I plopped down in the dirt just as I had with my shorts on.

After Etna Summit the terrain changed drastically. We climbed up north, then west, switch-backed south west to a high and rocky north running ridge. It was wooded with occasional views off to the west. I was out in front. Around a little jog in the trail I came across a fairly clean cut young guy relaxing trail side. His pack and shoes were off and he had many articles of gear and clothing neatly arranged about him. He kind of emerged out of a heavy trance upon seeing me and jumped up to shake my hand, “Hi my names Dave.” I exchanged quick pleasantries with him as Dyl came up behind me. Dave looked at us both, paused for effect, and said, “I’m THE UNABONGER! So… if you know your into that kind of thing I…” I looked at Dyl over my left shoulder as he responded.

“It doesn’t really sound like your giving us much of a choice.” THE UNABONGER” smiled and returned to his pack. A quick dig into his top pouch revealed a small plastic travel hookah and a healthy bag of Mexican marijuana. So, we sat down with him and he bonged us. Needless to say, the conversation wandered around to all sorts of various topics. He was traveling almost the exact opposite of us. From Oregon to Mexico, he had been on the trail only a few days. As we were desperately dry mouthed and still had eight miles to water our conversation turned toward the subject. He drank freely and even used fresh water, which he then tossed in the dirt, for his water pipe. It seems like you could spit in the thing or do something to conserve. He told us he wouldn’t carry more than a days worth of water. This set Dyl and I both into a laughing fit. “You will. you’ll have to! Try three days water, at least!” In late August when he leaves the aqueduct, its a hundred and ten degrees, and he has fifty miles to his next water, he will be facing the trial of his life. Dyl jokingly admonished me later for scaring the guy. He needs to be scared. Prepared rather. Thirst wetted from the talk, Dyl urged that we press on as we had little more than a swallow each. THE UNABONGER told us that we were right on the edge of the Marble Mountain Wilderness a beautiful area. We thanked him for the trail descriptions and the diversion and gave him Uncle Dewey’s book of Travel Quotations. It has a trail life now as he will pass it on to one of the many north bounders behind. It will get to know this country well.

The comment about the Marble Mountain Wilderness was initially unremarkable. We continually pass in and out of wilderness areas. Certainly I wasn’t prepared to almost immediately experience the world dropping away beneath me. It was insta-mountains. All the sudden we were kicking rocks on a high exposed slopes. Lack of tree cover allowed the late afternoon sun to beat on us. My feet were seriously battered by the new hard trail surface and we were both very thirsty. Shelly Lake seemed a long way off. At camp tonight we admitted, we had been UNABONGED.

It was nice to talk and seep up trail culture. There are still a lot of folks on the trail this season. All kinds of distances and terrains define their trips. Everyone seems to be having a blast. I have come to enjoy bumping into south bounders. They give us news of Psycho Ken and LETITBE. We send messages with them for new friends long passed up. It seems that we would delve deeper into the culture if we kept going. We would pass more south bounders as the season for doing the trail that direction is just coming into full swing. Eventually, in southern Washington, we would meet Ken and LETITBE hauling ass back down to Mexico. That, however, isn’t what this trip was primarily for. It seems really to be an opportunity to find our limits. How far and how hard can you simply walk until you just have to stop. Before your body makes you stop.

Thu, 11 Jul 1996

Day 87 (Pete)

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 09:22 pm

I rounded a rusted outcropping of boulders to the tune of Dyl la laing out Pomp and Circumstance. It was silly but I felt the moment nonetheless. My face cracked a grin and I must say I felt proud of myself. We sat down at the cold spring there and enjoyed breakfast. As things were winding up, Dyl saw a group coming up the trail. There were six of them, teenagers, hippies waiting to bud. In succession they all exchanged a cheery greeting with Dylan while trying hard not to stare at me standing ominously behind him in my flowing green polyester cap and gown. “I at least would have asked,” I mused after they had passed.

The terrain has become much more rugged. It is a welcome change. We feel like we are in mountains again. Initially, it seemed as if the day were going to be exceedingly hot. Especially for me in my non breathable garb. Luckily, however, a pleasant breeze through much of mid day continuously swirled up my gown and made things reasonable. We passed a three person trail crew fixing an overly muddy seep spring on the trail. Their leader, upon looking up, immediately congratulated me an inquired about where I was graduating from. He was a great guy and spent much of the five minutes with us laughing out loud.

We were ferociously attacked by two Chiwawa sized mystery ferret type creatures in the late afternoon. It was really very comical and I think in truth they were just playing. Regardless, one did charge me from behind a tree making an awful racket of panting growls. It repeatedly lunged forward with its paws outstretched. I must admit it had the element of surprise going for it. There was nary a quick second to wonder if it was going to try to gnaw my foot off. Fortunately, it ran right past me and continued chasing its twin which had flanked and attacked Dylan from behind a tree further up the trail. He said that he thought they were “Ermines” a cousin of the ferret.

As the sun dropped, we set up our bug shelter on the only available patch of flat ground. I removed my sweat soaked gown with a feeling of great satisfaction. Quickly, a large group of ten to thirteen year old kids with a leader came upon us. They were from Mosquito Lake summer camp. The guide described the camp as taking kids on “rigorous” hikes. That combined with the name of the location struck us both as a bit torturous for a child. Sure enough they had gone eighteen miles the day before. That’s pretty incredible for kids that old; and, despite our own attitudes, they seemed in high spirits. They asked us where we were coming from, always a joy to answer, “The Mexican Border.” After a quick talk about our trip they told us that we were, “Cool.”

I really enjoyed the ceremony today. It was a much farther walk that it would have been up to the platform. Siri informed me that the ceremony in San Diego, a little over a week previously, had gone backwards through the alphabet. So, I guess it was better to do it this way and walk all day than just sit there in a boredom induced coma waiting for my name to be called. For my high school graduation I unwillingly slugged a tequila shooter at the bottom of the Grand Canyon at the insistence of a crowd of hairy men. For college I walked twenty-three miles through the wilderness wearing my unused high school cap and gown. It’s shaping up to be an interesting life. While dinner cooked this evening I made an attempt to shave by a seep spring. There were only three razors in the package so it came out kind of scrappy. The kids guide commented to Dyl on his facial hair. “Were you clean shaven when you started?” I missed my recently removed Grizzly Adams beard. Nevertheless, I’ll look slick tomorrow.

Wed, 10 Jul 1996

Day 86 (Pete)

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 09:18 pm

At the end of a long shitty day my spirits rise so much as we stop that it is really hard to recount it in a proper negative fashion. My foot pain has been compounding due to the pack weight. It makes the rest of my sympathetically tired. Soon enough, the weight will be eaten. Hell, soon enough we’ll be passed out dead drunk at Hyatt Lake.

We winded south west, west, north west, and north today. The trail is still following the divide and its meandering coarse. Mountainsides are heavily scarred with roads and clear cutting. General rape. I hope this here piece of paper didn’t used to be part of what sat on one of those stumps. Well, it came from some stump somewhere.

About half an hour ago a black bear cub charged ten feet up a nearby tree. Stunned, I stood ready to react to mom. We looked at each other in the face for a moment. Sensing my hesitation, he bolted off the tree and through the thicket. I was always told that if chased by a bear run down hill as their stubby front legs prevents them from gaining and downhill momentum. That little cup took off strain down slope at about thirty miles an hour. It was a really nice encounter. Regardless, we’ve got a pile of rocks ready in case it wants to get better acquainted tonight. I’m going to drift off and get some rest for my graduation ceremony tomorrow.

Tue, 09 Jul 1996

Day 85 (Pete)

Filed under:  — cyberhobo at 09:14 pm

“Only ten days left of this madness.” That was the very first thing that popped into my head when I sullenly opened my eyes this morning. Dyl told me today, “You know, I came to the conclusion that if it wasn’t for me you would never get up in the morning.” He’s wrong of coarse. I would just get up much much later. Every team needs a captain. I’m not it on this one.

We left Castle Crags behind this morning and quickly climbed to the Trinity Divide. Off one side water flows into the Sacramento River, off the other to the Trinity. We are still on the divide camped tonight. We will swing 180 degrees around the rim of a large basin and strike out south west toward the Trinity Alps. These saw toothed and snowy peaks now constitute our horizon in that direction. At Castella I’m sure we weren’t more than a fifty mile strait shot up I-5 from Oregon. It is telling of the trail that it winds these two hundred miles before crossing that border. If we were walking strait we would be in Canada right now.

The weight of seven days food is more than we’ve grown accustomed to in northern California. It made today long and tiring. My feet hurt bad enough to hobble me down to half my usual speed by afternoon. Perhaps we have too much chow. I haven’t been hungry since putting down that box of Frosted Flakes at Ammaratti’s. Well, the weight will whittle itself away. I’ve quit caring about details. Don’t care about the weight. Don’t look at the maps anymore. I guess I’m just winding down. Tenth day done, nine left now.