Sunday, April 26, 2015

Day 3: Burnt Rancheria campground

Sunday April 26, 2015
22 Miles Today
42 Total Miles

Last night's weather blew itself out sometime after I feel asleep and before I woke up. The rain hammering my tent and the wind slamming it from side to side was making quite a din. On top of that they were playing a movie in the pavilion about two hundred feet away. To top it off a number of the thru hikers were celebrating and had left the state bee world for the world of song. They were literally singing in the rain, or perhaps shouting out lyrics in the rain. With all of the noise and commotion, I decided to take two Advil PMs. I had the best sleep in camp.

The morning broke to utter stillness. The only sound was the snoring of the over-indulgent hikers who forsook the early morning send off in order to sleep off last night's hangover.
I was on the trail before seven but not before breakfast. Since I didn't make my trail brownies last night I had them for breakfast. They had a breakfast bagel  send off for us but I wanted to eat my own food because I don't want to carry it anymore. Same with the food trucks they had on site yesterday. Instead of BBQ Brisket or hot and juicy hamburgers, I had Navy Bean soup fortified with minute rice and freeze dried turkey.

I have been surprised at the similarity of the trail down here to the trail in the Tahoe area, in central Oregon and in Washington. The trail is the trail. It's graded the same, has similar plants and rocks, and feels like the same trail. It is, I know, but what I mean is that it is recognizable. It has a DNA, a signature, a personality, and I like it, and I think it also likes me. Some hikers talk about the trail giving them something, I agree.  know that the trail is inanimate, but personality and mind created it. Just like personality and mind created nature. The trail is a partnership of God and man that speaks just as clearly and loudly as a painting or a song. It is a work of art that you get to walk through and experience with your whole being.

You would have thought that with the hundreds of hikers at the kickoff that I would be left plodding along in an unending conga line. That was not the case I saw at most ten people all day spread out over eight hours and twenty two miles. It was definitely a wilderness experience of the first order.

When the climb from interstate 8 goes  on and on and up and up. The desert scrub has been replaced by a pine forest.  The weather, being cool made the climb significantly easier than it would have been in the heat. I am camping at the Burnt Rancheria campground with about twelve other PCT hikers. They are all heading to Canada. I am the only one who is not making the attempt. I used about four liters of water today. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer. I think I will load up with the full capacity of six and one half liters.

When I was a boy and in Boy Scouts we used to camp every month in the Oakland hills. They are not all that wild, with roads and houses interspersed with the county parks we'd camp at. I remember imagining that we were camping in wilder more remote locations. Today's terrain was what I dreamed about. I really am enjoying the hike through this country. It is different than the Sierra, Oregon, our Washington but it is beautiful in its own unique way. 

This is Lancealot she is the resident blister triage PCT hiker

This is a good place to stay on the trail 

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