Just to backtrack, me, Hummingbird, Prince, Lone Wolf and Noel (now Rodeo) started hiking again from Truckee at mile 1150 on the 18th of June. We were shortly defeated by the sight of snow. Lots of it. Hadn’t we avoided this? Unwillingly we pushed on and luckily found that the snow only lasted two days in.
Little watchtower on the top of that mouintain.
Finally we exit the cold, wet hell that is snow in the middle of the summer. In Tahoe the trees are vivid green, the forests dense and the lakes clear. This is what I’ve been dreaming that the trail would be all along.
All the green I’ve been longing for. Campsite up on the ridge.
We went into Sierra City to get some snacks and breakfast. A sweet little mountain town without much, but everything you need.
Hitching into Sierra City with Rodeo and Prince.
After Sierra City it took two days before we reached the town of Belden, which is more like a few buildings than an actual town. Very strange little place. Apparently the week after we left a huge rave party was held there. Some lovely trail angels let me and Rodeo sleep in real beds (!!!), shower and have some food. All for free! If there’s any place to reassure you that the world is full of kindness, this trail is it.
Belden town resort.
After Belden we only had a few days before Chester, a real size town this time. I had a great time there and forgot to take any pictures whatsoever. But here’s the rundown: Me and Rodeo camped behind a church that are friendly enough to let our stinky kind stay there. We stayed for a day and did what we usually do in towns. Shower, laundry, resupply and eat eat eat. On the morning we left, the police had found some stray sheep and left them within the gates of the church backyard. What.
Rodeo and Ryan in Lassen National Park. Lower Twin Lake. Had my first swim in an on trail lake!
Me and Rodeo heard about the Cafe in Old Station when we were still half a day away. And they closed at 7pm. So we walked as fast as you only can when you are racing against the clock towards a full belly. AND WE MADE IT. Just about. It was so good that we camped in the backyard and came back for breakfast. The owner was so nice and let us linger on the wifi far after closing hours. He took a picture of me and Rodeo in front of his sign. Go to their Facebook page and you will find it!
JJ’s Cafe in Old Station.
The day we left Old Station was an eventful one. Right after leaving we take this detour that leads to a subway cave, created by lava! All day we walk along the rim of the valley in the blistering heat. Without any trees and the dust on our legs, we’re reminded by the barren desert. Northern California is notorious for having people quit. The reason I think comes in two parts. 1. This is the halfway point of the PCT. You still have just as far left and you might realize that you don’t want to spend another 3 months walking. 2. The happiness when we finished the 700 mile desert section was unreal. To feel like you reenter the desert is like being punched in the face. Repeatedly. By dirt, heat and underwhelming landscapes.
Anyway, the day continued with seeing what seemed like a million paragliders and hanggliders jumping of the cliff and flying up into the sunrise. It was such a beautiful sight that we had to stop every 5 minutes just to look. Before the end of the day we also encountered cows. Yes cows. Across the trail. See, we expect bears, mountain lions, deer and snakes. But sheep and cows? No one talks about those, but they make us just as excited. It’s all part of the experience right?
Just as the sun was setting we saw over 30 paragliders taking off up into the sky. Cows blocking our path. This trail has all sorts of challenges.
I have now walked from Truckee at mile 1150 to Burney Mountain Guest Ranch at mile 1407. A wonderful place with good food, showers, a pool and campsites. A place that welcomes and encourages hikers. Not all places do that, so we’re always grateful when they do.
Burney Mountain Guest Ranch.
Anyhow, this puts me at a total of over a 1000 miles walked. Which is absolutely crazy. Like hard-to-wrap-your-head-around-crazy. Because when you just walk everyday, few thoughts are spent on how much several months build up to in numbers. So when we stand there, at the big milestones, we are impressed and somewhat shocked by our own feats. But we don’t stop for long. Because in reality, the numbers never mean much. So we continue doing what we came here to do. Just keep walking.