In Yogi’s guide, one of the biggest regrets from thru hikers was not taking more zero days on trail, so being so close to Sierra City, I allowed myself a slow morning.
The more time I spend on my own, the crazier I seem to become. I’m now so comfortable with talking to myself out loud that I don’t even look around anymore to check if anybody’s in hearing distance. I also feel that if I have the video running I’m not really talking to myself, right?
Just before I actually hit the trail I heard the click of hiking poles coming down the switchbacks and peered out my tent to see Werewolf and Marijke and their dog ‘What’s up dog’ coming along. I hadn’t seen them since I was hiking Sobo to rescue UB when he hurt his knee near Lone Pine! This trail sometimes feels like being in high school, followed by weekly high school reunions with people you haven’t seen in over a month, all whilst hiking through the wilderness. Totally bizarre!
I was buzzing along with so many happy thoughts in my head for the first three miles until I bumped into three people taking a short day hike. This encounter put me on an even greater high after their amazement of the hike, the fact I am doing it solo, and their eagerness to check out the blog! They were having a huge family reunion in Sierra City with 60 relatives coming together. Insane!
The five miles to the trail head felt longer than expected, probably because I was thinking about all the good things a town provides: food, rest (well some), shower, laundry, more food! I also didn’t factor in the additional miles to get to town from Highway 49 which I figured would be an easy hitch… ’twas not so.
I waved at every car that drove past and got such a good response I knew even before I arrived in Sierra City that it would be a welcoming place.
Are we in Canada already?
My first stop was the Red Moose which is run by trail angels Bill and Margaret, who offer free camping to thru hikers in their backyard! They usually offer showers too but because their two rooms were already rented, Margaret told me the river was a great alternative. With the amount of filth I’d built up over the last 100 miles I knew this option wasn’t going to fly, so I headed into town looking like true blue ‘hiker trash’.
I hit the general store, put on a load of washing and used the store’s phone to call UB as there’s NO AT&T reception in town! Crazy! I heard the post office actually closes at 2pm so I raced there at 1:45pm to grab my packages. I had my resupply box and two packages from Dirty Girl! When they handed over my resupply box they told me it was the first one they received back in April, and couldn’t believe it arrived so early. It had become part of the PO furniture!
As I was still getting about town in my filth, when I bumped into one of the three people I met on the trail this morning, part of their family offered me a shower in their cottage close by! Brad took me over to where they were staying and I met his wife Debbie, his daughter and another couple who all listened to me babble about trail stories until they found me a clean towel.
It felt so good to be clean again! At this point I was soooo hungry and was on a mission to find food, but I bumped into Carrot back at the Red Moose so we chatted and laughed at the random goodies Dirty Girl had sent to me including a fly swatter, bug gummy candy, and barbie tissue packets! She also sent me some life saving items including new insoles, knee braces and coffee!!!!
THEN, I went to get a gut buster burger from the general store while Fuller finalised his calculations of the PCT puzzle. We were honestly in fits of giggles at the comments you guys left on that post! Unbelievable!
With so much excitement going on in town I was literally exhausted by 7pm but still had to sort through my food for the next seven days and reorder my pack! I also had a huge list of ‘to do’s’ including responding to emails, charging iPod, Steri Pen, and camera, ordering new shoes and a few other bits and pieces I ran out of time to do.
SOOO, this morning I picked up where I left off! I won’t be making 25 miles today, but I will be hitting the trail shortly. I just had to ensure I was adequately fuelled up on pancakes and coffee before I left town!