These were two of the most unexpected items I found in the hiker box at Donner Pass today. Unfortunately the box of fortune cookies was empty and at present I don’t have a use for the candles. The best surprise at the pass after hearing the lodge nearby was actually closed, was meeting Dave the trail angel who coincidently has read my blog through UB’s.
Today was a random one indeed. I woke early but broke camp later than the boys because once again I was ‘blogging’ (cell signal = less miles hiked). When I did hit the trail though it was like a lightning bolt, I had so much energy from breakfast and coffee that I flew through the first 5 miles and caught up to Leaky and Moonshine sitting at the top of a ridge overlooking the valley.
I pretty much had signal the entire morning, but because of the issues I was having with posting videos, I wasn’t making much ground. I’m not sure if it’s a WordPress thing or not, but hopefully the viewing problems were isolated to today. Thanks for your feedback as it helped me try and rectify the issue by reposting it three different times until it finally worked.
On a complete side note I’m writing this from my sleeping bag where one die hard mosquito has been dive bombing my face for the last half hour and a deer just stumbled upon my bed, realised I was alive and darted off into the bushes.
Being so close to major roads and trailheads today I met some amazing day hikers along the way. Most notably were three wonderful women named Marilyn, Karen and Shirley (I’m terrible with names ladies so please correct me if I’m wrong). We got chatting about the trail, the book Wild and the mosquitos in Yosemite. When I told them I didn’t have a long sleeved shirt to keep the mosquitos from biting my arms, Karen dug into her bag and whipped out a beautiful bright blue shirt which she insisted I take. It fit and felt perfect, and the colour matches the blue from Muk Muk’s beenie, it was meant to be. The three ladies were enjoying a girls only trip in the woods, hiking, kayaking and eating good food. They told me they were desperately missing their husbands though (wink wink). Such amazing women, thank you so much for your gift and encouragement!
Despite all the chit chat down the trail I did bump into Leaky and Moonshine again sitting on a huge rock on the side of the trail, but by the time I made it to Hwy 40 I heard from Fuller they had hitched into Truckee. It will be interesting to see if our paths cross again. The trail is amazing in that way, you can be two hours ahead or behind someone and not see them for weeks, or you can bump into people on numerous occasions in a single day. The trail seems to determine this fate.
When I bumped into trail angel Dave he pulled out a chair for me to sit on and offered me a beer. We talked about the events of the trail, UB’s new venture south bound and hiking in general. During our conversation a car pulled up to drop off Ninja Tank (JT) back to the trail from Truckee. He’d been there a while waiting for new shoes to arrive. Then Fuller popped up out of nowhere so we all chilled drinking beer and soda and eating bagels and cream cheese left by trail angels.
After leaving the comfort of Donna Pass I started to experience something I term PTB (Post trail-magic blues). I’d been on such an incredible high all day that I started to crash a little. This was of course until I went through the Hwy 80 underpass and discovered more trail magic in coolers on the other side. Another soda and a choc chip muffin was all I needed to get me going again.
Not far up the trail I was heading to the I-80 rest stop when I bumped into Fuller again. We had another great chat about the mysteries of the trail and it’s healing powers. He told me he has learned not to fight the trail, to let it crush you when it chooses and to let it lift you when you’re down. He’s absolutely right, ride the highs and overcome the lows.
So here I am at the Peter Grubb Hut (aka Blair Witch film set). I’m very low on water as the source is a mucky little stream close by. I didn’t have enough water to cook dinner so I ate two tortillas with Nutella which will hopefully hold me until tomorrow morning. Halfmile says I’m 6 miles from the next source so it’s going to be a thirsty morning. I plan to be up early so I should make it before the sun creates too much heat tomorrow. I’m camped in eyesight of the hut and heard the creek of the toilet door a couple of times as the sun went down. I’m curious to know if anyone’s actually sleeping inside!