Quick update. I haven’t had cell service for many days. I had my leg and ankle checked out in Burney. Impressive bruise and swelling but thankfully it was just a sprain. I’ve been wearing a wrap on it and after taking two days to rest I’m doing pretty well. It’s still swollen but the wrap holds it in place. Today was 105 degrees and we made it to Castella. Spirit is celebrating her 30th birthday toda and her boyfriend, Justin (Trail Angel Justin or TAJ) met us at I-5 and drove us in to the town of Dunsmuir. I have a room to share and many of us will take a zero tomorrow and watch the soccer game and do the necessary town chores. After the heat it’s nice to have a break!
I poured water on my phone accidentally last night without realizing it and it’s not working very well. I hope it recovers! Sorry I haven’t been able to post or respond to any comments. Poco Loco
Old mill as we were leaving Belden.
Midpoint on the Pacific Crest Trail two days ago
Terminal Geyser yesterday with Spirit
Another burned forest today. It still smelled like ashes. So sad.
The second bet thing about Belden (after trail magic by Beccy Peterson!) was scoring the extra bed in Beacon’s room for Spirit and I. The trade was for half my cheeseburger so I think it was a sweet deal!
The trail out of Belden should be condemned for the first five miles. I needed a machete because it was so overgrown. Jus the amount of poison oak was insane! It was really a tough climb for over fourteen miles. I slipped on a mossy rock while crossing a creek and fell onto all fours. I was soaked and part of my pack was wet. I stood up and felt the ugly cry build on my face. Before the first tear fell I told myself to “suck it up!” I really hurt my shin, ankle and foot and have been struggling with this mightily for four days. We did huge miles too and I really suffered. 25, 29 then 9 into Drakesbad Guest Ranch yesterday. I iced my leg and ate well! It was Milestone’s birthday so we drank beer and celebrated him. Today I hobbled the 23 miles into Old Station and have found a lovely couple that will drive me to the ER in the morning. I just need to know what’s going on with it. I’ll likely take a couple days off and let the swelling go down. It’s raining too so having a dry motel room is rather decadent in the timing. We are sharing the “suite” with a French couple that I adore. Yeti Boy and Sugar Babe are charming beyond words. My injury is a minor inconvenience and I will update soon.
Trail through the forest yesterday
Late afternoon view
View from campsite last night! For us two lonely Sardines
Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes! After thanking Ray for the fab strawberry shortcake at Highway 40 last Sunday we were picked up by Tahoe Mike and taken to his grand home in Incline, NV. We spent the night and were back at the trail at 10am Monday morning. Change number one. Why Not left from there to go home to get supplies. Tuesday night she was to sit on a panel discussion that was a fundraiser for the PCTA in Truckee. I don’t know when or if I will be hiking with her again as she took three days off. She is also planning another zero in Sierra City today. She is a wonderful person to share this trail with and I learned from her each and every day. So, it was just Spirit and I, off by ourselves after some teary hugs. Although we had a late start, Why Not would have been proud that we hiked 26 miles. Two more days of 26 milers and a quick fifteen on Thursday morning put us in Sierra City. Ray drove up with a cooler of beer and snacks and the hikers made that sleepy town come alive! Spirit and I left out of Sierra City with a 4000 foot climb that was nicely graded and afforded great views. Change number two. The elevations are substantially lower (4000-7000). This brings lush forests and beautiful songbirds. The saddest silence of the desert burn areas because of the lack of birds still haunts me. Change number three. Oak trees, lush ferns, and bay leaf trees. It’s just so different from the past month. Still lovely pines though. All types. Change number four. After nothing but massive granite we are now in sandstone, slate and scattered volcanic rock. The next two days were pretty uneventful except for being able to camp at the middle fork of the Feather River. Playing in the cool water was heavenly! Today was a quick 12 downhill toward Belden where I am now. Lobo’s Mom, Beccy, hiked four miles in to meet me this morning and we chatted all the way to town making the miles fly by. She came with a carload of food for the dozen or so hikers that are here. I really enjoy getting to know her! I’ve had a shower and the laundry is in process so the rest of the day is free to relax my weary feet. Strolling around are Carlos, Chinese Rocks, Danko, Hangry, Lobo, Milestone, Cliff, Sherpa, Abby, Spirit and I. Many more will arrive soon.This is mile 1289.5 and we will hit the halfway mark in two days! My skin is trashed, my hair feels like straw, and my feet look alien but this journey continues with no reason for it to end. I may not get to Canada but it’s the journey not the destination. Thank you all for caring about me.
North of Ebbets Pass
View from Dick’s Pass 9500 feet
Trail magic at Barker Pass provided by Jeanine and Bob Mancuso!
Sultry shot of Lake Tahoe from above Alpine Meadows ski resort under wild skies.
Bear tracks yesterday
Describing the last three days will not be easy! We left our campsite stealthily because there were others near us. My jet boil stove whooshes enough to wake my friends near me but not others. I tend to be the earliest riser and typically we can be packed up in thirty minutes. The five miles to Echo Lake were no big deal. Ray was meeting us but due to miscommunication Ray went to Echo Summit and we were at the lake. He didn’t have cell service so we didn’t connect for almost three hours. He brought me new shoes and now, after wearing them for three days and allowing the blisters to heal…they are perfect!! Thank you, Ray! We hiked the perimeter of Echo Lake then climbed to Dick’s Pass. This may be the last high pass until the Cascade’s in Washington. We hiked 21 miles that day and camped overlooking middle Velma Lake. The next day we had anticipation up the wazoo! Old friends of mine had said they wanted to provide trail magic for us. We passed this info along to some of our hiking friends and when we arrived at Barker Pass,after hiking fifteen miles,there was a spread that was beyond our expectations! Lasagna, salad, French bread, fruit salad, cookies, grilled veggies and so much more! They also had foot baths, linens, chairs, lotions and hot tea and coffee. All this was provided with love and received in kind. There were twelve hungry hikers that were completely satisfied. It was hard to leave but we hiked an additional eleven miles and all of us that shared lunch camped together. This morning we hiked eighteen miles to Highway 40. Upon arrival there was Ray providing homemade strawberry shortcake! We love these instances of food and celebration. Simple pleasures are magnified beyond compare. Thank you Angels for helping us. Our days are tough and we appreciate all of these pieces of home.
I’m happy, skinned up, dried up skin and all! More soon.
One tough descent down to Sonora Pass. Lots of
Between Ebbets Pass and Carson Pass
Greetings All! After arriving at Kennedy Meadows Resort and Pack Station we had finished the section from Tuolumne Meadows to Sonora Pass. It was tough but beautiful. The resort offered dorm accommodations for $35 including laundry. We settled in and stayed two nights! Ray and my son, Jeff drove up and brought my resupply box and a new pair of shoes. They were the same model and size of shoes but after wearing them the last three days it is clear they are too small. I have blisters on both feet! I have had such extraordinary luck with my feet that this is disappointing. I’m not too adept at treating blisters since I get them so rarely. Tomorrow we will arrive at Echo Summit near Lake Tahoe and Ray will bring me some options. My house is about 180 miles from here and it is very kind of him to do that!
It is going to be very cold tonight where we are camping. The elevation is 8570 and there are patches of snow around us. The scenery is beautiful, but I feel that is true EVERY day! Night night!
Thousand Island Lake
Donahue Pass One huge bowl!
Spirit and Why Not?! at the pass
Today had many challenges. The steep canyons required precise foot placement because the rock trail was never flat! I’m very impressed by the trail builders who constructed miles of granite steps back in the 30’s and 40’s. In the middle of descents there will also be a granite water bar to fight erosion. Right now there is a lot of water rushing down the trail at high elevations because of snowmelt. Today we climbed most 4000 feet overall and are camped at 8440 elevation. We had more big water crossings in rushing water. One up to my crotch. The trick is to always have three solid point of contact before moving either a pole or foot. Today was almost unbearable because almost from the time we hit the trail at 6 am we we swarmed by mosquitoes. I have the worse combination of factors; they love me and I’m very bothered by them. I wear shorts so I did use Deet on my legs but with numerous water crossings, it was pretty useless. Much of the day I didn’t wear the head net because it really cuts down in my visibility. Even our lunch break was cut short because it’s better to be moving. Spirit even commented that for the first time in 66 days she wished she was somewhere else because of the evil bugs. My face is covered with bites which just adds to my glamour. So, after 24.8 miles I’m covered with sweat, dirt, Deet, and sunblock. There is the promise of a shower tomorrow night when we reach a little “resort” near Sonora Pass. This has been a difficult section but extraordinarily beautiful. Water cascading down granite slabs, deep canyons, meadows just beginning to come alive after recent snowmelt, and towering pines. We pushed hard and will complete this section in one less day than planned. I have no idea why! But, tomorrow is the last day we have to carry bear canister! They are heavy and cumbersome to fit into a pack. I have had no cell service but will send all my little entries tomorrow night. I’m in my sleeping bag but forced to have my net over my head. Ugh! Poco Loco