Monday, August 21, 2017

Day 13 - Mile 1212

I woke up this morning feeling down. A crisis of confidence I guess one could say. I didn't feel like getting up, I was dreading the altitude gain of today and was feeling stupid about my water purification snafu. My slow pace has guaranteed I won't be able to do the whole planned route, which is also disappointing. Plus, it's much harder to carry more days of food than fewer days of food. The whole thing compounds itself. More days = more food carried = more water carried between sources = more weight to carry. You get the difficulty. I started thinking about the next section which I had planned for 3.2 days at 13 miles a day. Now that is a reasonable amount of food to carry. 

But since I'm still 2.5 days out from Sierra City there was no time to mope. I left camp at 7am, having prepared my breakfast drink, which I drink on the go. A couple miles out I stopped by a spring that was bright with greenery and tasty water. 

This was the last water for a bit and the start of a 1,000' climb in the space of 2 miles. I decided to try a new strategy on the climbs so I got out my little MP3 player and plugged myself in. 

On the third song, something by Jim Croce I believe, I started to cry. The harder I walked the harder I cried, until I got near the top. Grief had overwhelmed me and I simply had to let it go. Grief about what? The election last November, my Mothers death 12 days later, sadness to know I live in a country that would elect a person of so little character, with no beliefs other than to do or say anything to get what he wants. A vindictive, crass, liar with no  moral ground. And yet, a fair portion of the voting public, not the majority but enough, decided to pick an individual with no history of doing anything for anyone, other than himself or his family. And now we are a laughing stock, world wide. So yes, I have a deep well of grief that creeps out from time to time. I guess you could say it was energizing though because I got to the top pretty quickly.  

As hard as the climb was, I turned right around and walked most of that elevation back down. I met a guy who looked a bit confused and was looking at his map. Trying to gage the coming climb as it turns out. His name is Where'd I Put It? (I guess he loses stuff) and he was having a hard time. Yesterday he had taken a face plant and he thought he might have broken his nose. He did look pretty bruised up. But he said as hard a day as he had yesterday, today he could re-invent himself. A good attitude which I will try to remember to apply to myself and situation. 

Finally I got to the next water source, The A-Tree Spring. It was cold, clear and welcomed. 

I ate my lunch there and chatted with a guy who is hiking the state of  California. He could be my age, or thereabouts, and his name is Chair Man. Something about a stool he carries. 

Lunch done I started walking again, up. To regain some of the elevation I just lost. It started looking pretty cloudy, in the direction I was headed. 

I started hearing thunder, which I hate, especially when the trail I'm on is exposed and I'm the only thing tall around. As you can see from the image. I scurried through the open area and gained trees where there were campsites. I only had 1.5 miles to the next spring so I didn't want to stop but I saw a flash of lightening and heard a BOOM right afterwards. I turned back under the trees and put up my tarp, placing myself under it. 

After about an hour the clouds moved off to the east and the thunder got less loud, so I decided to break down my emergency bivouac and carry on. And carry on I did. 

I stopped Little Jamison Spring and picked up 4 liters of water. Yes, almost 10 pounds. But there is a long stretch between water sources tomorrow so I watered up. I walked on a bit more, uphill if course, until I found a spot for the night. I hear cow bells in the distancešŸ˜¬. I hope they are friendly.  What with this and that, I walked 12 miles today. I'm getting there. 


  1. The TOPO Guide Song...
    Who am I, swingin' along the road, with a pack on my back, a song in my heart to ease the load. It's been 13 days or more since I started through the door. And I'm coming along so gay and strong as ever I came before. I am TOPO yes TOPO, in unexpected places. You'll meet my friendly face and my dirty hands beside. There's not much danger in finding you're a stranger for commissioner arranger I'm a Guide, TOPO Guide!

    1. One of my very, all time favorite camp songs. Especially good for walking (not uphill!)