Day 69 (Pete)

After four days to Burney Falls we will be half way done with the miles, sort of. The things I have learned so far: The world is very large and can be imposing. I am very small. Yet, I have the ability to move across it as I please; and, in many ways, I have the ability to shape how it relates to me and affects me. These are sort of magical powers. My body can withstand seemingly horrendous things, like swimming naked through ice cold water at dawn, and be no worse for wear. In fact, I can still go on to have a good day. Lastly, I can be a sensitive person. I can enjoy things because they are pretty, smell flowers, believe in God, though it is surely my own definition. These are all wonderful discoveries to me and I look forward to the next 1,400 miles.

We dropped below 5,000 feet today. The varieties of vegetation have increased dramatically. Instantly, we are in a lush green forest with many kinds of trees and ferns. Sierra City is hardly a city. It is, however, one of the most beautiful niches of human habitat I have ever seen. Dyl calls it “Fairyland.” It does seem enchanted. It looks like rain is coming up the narrow valley. We were offered a ride back up toward the trail from town so that we may have time to pitch the tent before rain. Everyone here is very friendly and helpful. They smile at us as if we were both spit shinned alter boys. As its not too far, I think I’ll dawn the rain gear and wander back into town to use the phone. There wasn’t a speck of snow this afternoon. I won’t even have to change into dry socks tonight. A few days ago I noticed that after three weeks of constant wetness my feet are finally starting to retain dirt.

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