Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blogging from the middle of frickin' nowhere

This may not work: I'm sitting on the porch of a store drinking IPA. I am doing this from an iphone recently submerged in a river, and now tenuously connected to slow internet. My progress north on the PCT has been stymied by forest fires just north of me. I can go another 75 miles, and I intend to... But then I'll have to interrupt this strange rhythm of eating, walking, drinking, sleeping and emoting by getting off the trail, getting my car and DRIVING north to point above the fires. As of this moment, it's raining like a sonofabitch and I can't seem to pry myself away from this man-made shelter. I've been walking 18-21 miles per day, and my 11 miles planned for today can easily be covered at the last minute. I' d Rather kill time on a porch (with readily available homemade burritos and coffee and beer) than alone in a tiny tent listening to the tap tap tap of rain on a fly. Earlier this morning I took a hot bath and had a breakfast beer. I take my luxuries when they are opportune. Yesterday i nearly stepped on a rattlesnake, so involved in my thoughts was i that i forgot to pay attention. Dumb. a good reminder to stay present at all times! my safety is precarious, being alone 98% of the time. before today i went days without hunan interaction. most of the thru hikers are either way north, or have quit due to injuries or (much founded) fear of water scarcity. Last night, fortuitously I decided to sleep indoors. It Rained hard... Though I loved the comforts of my room, including a jackalope over my bed, I strangely crave the simple, suffering rhythm of life on the trail. The prior days were tough. Water is terribly scarce, and I've been going 12+ miles at a stretch without water. This is tough in 90 degree heat with 4600 ft climbs and a 35lb pack. Such is life. Being dry makes my muscles and tendons ache, and this makes me grumpy. Every day I love and hate this trail. My emotions are at the surface, and I cry often. But still, I make progress. This is my home right now. 2 days ago I encountered the first rattlesnake of this journey. She rattled at me as I came around the corner... My heart jumped. Her markings were different than what I'm used to seeing: dark granite grey and creamy stripes. Just like the rock here. Duh. 30 minutes later, I came to the gorgeous, wild and scenic middle fork feather river. So enthralled was i by the sight of real water to quench my thirst (after 3 days of tiny springs, dry camping and under hydration), and serious need for washing 3 days of sweat and dust off my body, that I forgot that I had tucked my phone into my sports bra for easy photo taking... Stripped off clothing and ker-plunk! Into the drink went the iPhone. Whatta day! I found a packet of desiccant in a bag of kale chips a friend had given me, and promptly housed the phone and desiccant in a ziplock... At the Inn last night (bucks lake) I plugged in my phone and, voila! You always have what you need.
And indeed, I did need this device, as I learned about fires up north, which necessitate a change of plans, catching rides, etc. I hope to walk as far as Chester, then regroup after that.

It sounds like the tapping of the rain off the eaves has slowed, signaling the slowing precipitation and this my departure. Walking in the rain with an IPA buzz is such an Oregonian thing to do! I look forward to my return to the state I love so very much and have been identifying as home...

Dig deep, everyone. You might be surprised by what you'll find!


No comments: