Day 105 7-8-07 H
Warner Valley Campground – Old Station
23.5 miles; 1377.7 (55.7) total miles; 3238.7 trip miles
90-100’s, sunny and HOT
Deer count is 71
Marmot count is 51
Bear count is 5
Pika count is 2
Just one deer today near the end of the stage. Last night I fell asleep super fast; but at quarter to three, I woke up and was soaked in sweat. My sleeping bag was all wet. I got up, went to the bathroom and stood outside my tent with my bag on my shoulders hoping it would dry. I soon realized I was much too tired to do this and got back in the tent. I turned the bag inside out hoping it might dry during the remainder of the night. I fell asleep pretty fast again and the alarm came all too quickly.
I didn’t leave camp until 6:30, which is late for me. The day started with a 1 mile climb. Then it was up and down for a while, until I got past Swan Lake outlet creek. At this point it was supposedly all downhill. Of course, there was the small rise but it was pretty damn flat or downhill. I had the option of hiking by a bunch of lakes on a different trail when I got to Lower Twin Lake; but, I stayed on the PCT. Because I stayed on the PCT, I had no water for miles. Badger Flat was supposed to have water but its outlet stream was dry. I left Lassen National Park, and went through a section of woods where every 100′ or so there was a berm, then it would be flat, then a berm. It was odd. I can only think the loggers made them when they cut the trees years back. I finally reached a river near a campground and got water and also had my lunch. I had done 19 miles by 12:30.
The trail was so dusty today. I poured sand from my shoes. It was that bad! Between the hikers, horses, and dirt bikes, the soil is so finely broken down it’s almost a powder at times. I coasted into Old Station, where I promptly order a chocolate milk shake at the store and called for a ride to Georgi & Dennis Heitman’s. Dennis came to pick me up and told me Georgi was on the run to Truckee. Greenleaf was already there and Silver and Backtrack would come in later. I had myself a shower, a few Cokes, and relaxed. It wouldn’t be until 8:30 when I ate dinner. Backtrack and I cooked up some hamburgers. I also got to use the internet and make some phone calls. I finally went to bed around 9:30 and since they have tents in their yard, I didn’t have to put mine up. I had a nice little two man dome tent all to myself.
What follows is a quote from David Houghton’s book “the EFI club”, a book about his experience racing the Tour d’Afrique, a 7000 mile mountain bike race from Cario, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa. It might give some of you insight into why I hike trails like the PCT. “What had driven us to undertake this kind of journey? To endure heat and illness and deprivation? Everyone had their own reasons. Some had been to Africa before, others had always harbored the desire. For me, the reasons were too numerous to count. The music. The cultures. The people. Above all, we had come to Africa to suffer. We wanted to suffer because we had comfort in our lives. We knew comfort could easily lead to complacency, complacency to indifference. We intentionally chose the suffering of physical pain. The kind of pain that assured us we were pushing the limits of our physical capabilities. It’s been said we have no memory for pain, but the acid in our legs, the numbness in our hands, the ache in our backs all told us otherwise. We left behind the comforts of our everyday lives and embraced discomfort. We relished the pain, because in that pain we found pleasure.”
Scatman 2011- I love this quote by David. It’s very true in how I see myself. Normal rides or hikes are common to me and don’t push my limits. As a result I’m left unfulfilled. I want to suffer so I can feel alive and know I’m at my limit. Like he says, “in pain we found pleasure”. I suffered like a dog some days on the PCT but at the end of the day I had a smile on my face. Limits are to be found, pushed, and broken. Get out there!
Get out there!