Friday, July 27, 2012

Days 77 - 82: On The Move

We left Sierra City with our new tent and a totally boosted morale. Our minds shifted back into trail mode and we were enthusiastic to get our feet moving. The first few days out were a totally pleasant surprise for us. Being so familiar with the Sierra and Yosemite area, even up to Tahoe we were unsure what to expect from Northern California. We knew that a lot of hikers burn out in this region and people comment that it's repetitive and lackluster. We totally disagreed. The terrain presented tons of diversity, big trees and a shift into the cool, volcanic rock pockets. It was picturesque and the trail was well graded and easy to cruise through. We were making some of our best miles per hour and loving it. We also got to hike with a new crew of hiker friends that we really enjoyed. For a handful of nights we camped with Steady, Legion, Chili and Pepper, Shutterbug, Anchorman and One Ton. Camping with father/son duo Chili and Pepper was awesome. Chili is13, has already thru hiked the AT and has his sights set on the Continental Divide Trail for next year. His energy and quick wit were really fun to be around. Speaking of energetic, one night we had the pleasure of camping with Monkey and Mama Bear... Monkey is 8 (eight!!) and she has been begging her folks to hike the PCT since she was 6. As us 'old folks' sat around in camp commenting on knee pain after a 20 mile day, Monkey ran around camp, discovering slugs and bouncing off of trees. Being around her was pretty joyful.

One afternoon we swam in that deep green pool... and it was incredible. Best swimming hole ever. 

Creekside Cafe

On Sunday, July 15th we experienced some of the most generous magic yet. We had planned our resupply for the town of Quincy and bypassed a sign from Trail Angels Terry and Nancy Williams to get to Summit Road for a hitch. As we stood on the road, no cars passed our way until a large truck cruised right up and pulled over. Low and behold, it was Terry with a load of 3 other hikers heading into town to resupply. We did our errands and rode with Terry back to their family's cabin to stay the night. Along with 10 other hikers we enjoyed lots and lots of food, drinks, great conversation with the Williams, their nephews and niece AND (a huge highlight) a whiffle ball home run derby. They opened up the 'Hiker Hut' for us to do laundry and take showers and it was a great day of rest and fun.

First inning: off the deck


The peanut gallery 

More like strike out derby!

An incredible dinner!

The next day we cruised into Belden where we stayed with Trail Angels, the Braatens, and enjoyed famous blackberry milkshakes at Caribou Corner.

After our rough previous week, it felt wonderful to get back in the groove. We hiked with good people, ate good food on and off trail, and got a solid number of miles under our feet.

As we approached Lassen National Park and got incredible views of Mt. Lassen, we were grateful and glad to still be on trail. It's hard. It's long days and sore bodies. It's missing family and friends. But it's totally worth it.

Many thanks for the comments, texts, and emails of support on our last two posts. It's pretty awesome to feel like we have so many people behind us.

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