Miles: 1167.4 to 1197.1
Mileage: 31.7, plus .5 road walk toward Sierra City; got a hitch for the rest
So, our end of trail plans are slowly coming together and we now have a date where our trail journey must end.
Richard’s job starts up on August 17 and he will need a couple of days’ prep for that, so we have picked August 13 as the last day we can be on trail.
That basically forms two scenarios for us, because we are getting off the trail at the end of July for a wedding and that will take at least four days.
Scenario 1: we hike until the wedding and make it a good bit of the way into Washington. After the wedding, we come back out to the trail and finish the remaining 300 or fewer miles. (We have determined that given the time we have in August, we’ll only reasonably be able to finish 300 miles, max.)
Scernario 2: we hike as far as we can until the wedding and get off the trail then. If we can’t manage to make it a couple hundred miles into Washington by the end of July, our 2015 trail journey will end wherever we are at the end of the month. We will come back in 2016 and finish up the remaining miles then.
It’s certainly not ideal to leave the trail unfinished, but I don’t want to rush things, hurt ourselves, hate our lives, etc. because we’ve committed to a hiking plan that takes all the fun out of it and leaves only pressure and stress. Plus, Washington is supposed to be beautiful. I want to really SEE it.
We have come up with a hiking plan for the next couple of weeks. At that point, we will have a better idea of how we’re doing and buy our plane tickets for the wedding; either round-trip or one-way.
No matter how things go, I will be happy with my trail experience. And the opportunity Richard has lined up in August is absolutely worth leaving the trail until the next season if necessary. (More on that later).
The mosquitoes were alive and well when we got up. I put my rain pants on in the morning, something I hadn’t ever done before, just to protect my legs until we started hiking.
The weather was beautiful again. I can certainly get used to all sun. The trail kept us up around 7,500 feet most of the day. The wildflowers were out in abundance taking advantage of the bright sun on the bald ridges.
The day seemed to pass quickly. We spent the morning chatting about after school programs, a new drug that’s way too expensive in the U.S., and how Sinead O’Connor won’t be performing “Nothing compares to you,” again.
We lunched by a creek and finished off a bag of Doritos. The afternoon hiking was fine. By the end I was losing steam, but that’s what usually happens to me after 30 miles. Go figure.
We got to the road to Sierra City at 7:30 p.m. We tried hitching for a few minutes but nothing worked, so we just started walking. Not too far down the road, a lovely lady named Marie picked us up in her SUV with her son, Christopher, in a car seat in t he back. She drove us to the Methodist church, where hikers can camp on the lawn for free. It’s right in the center of this tiny town, and right by he public bathrooms, so it works really well.
We made dinner, explored the breakfast menus of the local restaurants and crashed. A few other hikers also stayed at the church yard, but we were all quiet with fatigue.