This morning I had my alarm set for 5am, but I barely had the energy to press snooze, let alone get up and hike. I think the lack of sleep from the night before was still lingering, so I let myself drift in and out of sleep until 6:30am. I made coffee and had granola before I even stepped out of my tent, and when I finally emerged, Lodgepole and Woozy were just about ready to leave. It took me a while of fumbling around to get my things together, so it was already 8am by the time I hit the trail.
The trail is beautiful once you’re up the mountain out of Belden. The views of Lassen on the horizon are stunning and the trail itself has a good grade and is extremely well maintained. I floated through the first 5 miles until some climbing was involved, and the scheduled heat wave began to set in.
There were a few long waterless stretches today which meant my pack felt heavy with more than two litres of water, and the heat was zapping my energy. I survived mainly on sugar snacks, Reece’s squares, jelly beans, M&Ms and Nutella tortillas. I was low on Nutella and ended up turning the ziplock bag inside out to create a chocolate glove which I smeared over the tortilla (another handy thru hiking insight). I then proceeded to lick the entire bag clean, true thru hiker style.
I got an incredible surprise today when I found out from Dirty Girl that my trail angel Jamie had offered to buy me a meal at Drakesbad Guest Ranch. I had heard that it wasn’t such a hiker friendly place anymore and after speaking with Jamie discovered that they only serve meals to a maximum of 8 hikers at a time and only offer their facilities to hikers that eat there. I never would have thought to book ahead for a meal and would have gone hungry and remained dirty if it wasn’t for Jamie’s generosity! Thank you so very much!
I had the half way point in my thoughts the entire day, but didn’t realise the effect it would have on me until I finally reached it. It was so fun sharing it with you all, I didn’t feel alone with the flood of comments that started coming through. They honestly gave me such a huge boost and made the moment all the more special. I was shocked that I had reception and was able to share the moment with UB over the phone. He was getting ready to hit the trail again tomorrow and his words of support were just incredible.
He also told me about the huge fires currently around Idyllwild. My heart goes out to all the folks affected. Idyllwild holds some of my fondest memories, having met so many incredible people during our stay there. I hope they remain safe and will be able to rebuild what is destroyed by the terrible blaze. Hope to hear from you soon Scott, our thoughts are with you.
Once I had eaten my chocolate covered pretzels I bid farewell to half way – onwards to Canada! The last five miles flew by as I reflected over the last 1325 miles and thought about how much support I’ve received from so many different people. It’s honestly overwhelming and I often feel like I’m going to wake up from this crazy dream at some point because it’s too unbelievable. I’m not alone and I will make it to Canada! These thoughts kept me going until around 8pm when the sun started getting a little low for my comfort levels. I realised the surroundings I was in were exactly the same as Myrtle Flats, but 0.3 miles down the trail as my mind was starting to flip I saw Lodgepole and a community of three tents set up. I literally cried out with joy!