Day 74

We prove that we don’t need snow to get lost. When we do find the trail, we’re soon treated to our first view of Mt. Lassen. For quite some time I’ve noticed Pete’s feet rolling more & more inward when he walks. Foot pain forces him to don our already-worn spare pair of shoes, and…

Day 73

The rain stops, but the plants hanging over the trail still retain plenty of water to keep us soaked. A long descent lands us in Belden Town. To keep it short, we end up in a trailer/bar/buffet. We eat and the locals drink, and everyone is the butt of a few jokes. At dusk we’re…

Day 72

It rains all night, then all day. We learn what it’s like to have no escape from it for a day. We imagine we might find out what it’s like to live for several days in it. Not comfortable. At least we are not trying to travel through a drought with only one water bottle.…

Day 71

I’ve adjusted my pack, my routine, and my sleeping position to ease my lower back & hips, and it may be helping. It’s easier to walk this morning. The land is lush, rain threatens throughout the day. I try to retain my optimism to help Pete – he complains of feeling a little sick. Really…

Day 70

When we pack up in the morning, my hip is so painful that I can barely walk. I’m thrown into a dark mood, I can no longer ignore the doubts I’ve been having. Pete really proves the strength of his friendship to me when we discuss the possiblility of ending the trip early. He somehow…

Day 69

After a couple more trips to the now hilly crest we begin the descent to Sierra City. For a little while I break out of my spell and can’t help but immerse myself in the world as it completely changes around me. The air gets more humid, colorful plants are popping up everywhere in vast…

Day 68

We have many encounters and incidents. Pete takes a fall on a steep snowfield and barely avoids a serious injury. We cross I-80 at Donner Pass, coming into contact with a B&B climbing school, joggers, fishers, mountain bikers, and fellow trail walkers. All these events touch us somehow. Pete “swaps” the leaky water bottle for…

Day 67

Early on we climb up to the crest for some peeks at awesome Lake Tahoe. We can never see the whole lake at once. Cutting through closed Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski areas makes us imagine the hordes of skiers that were still on the slopes this time last year. Our attempts to glacade…

Day 66

Maybe it’s the thicker trees, or the mosquitos. Or the amount of time on the trail. I start shutting the world out, falling into routines, poring over the guidebook calculating mileages. Maybe Pete & I have reached an impasse. Although I still love the life, my attitude toward the trail is changing, taking on more…