Day 116 7-19-07 Tarp Tent
Weed – Box Camp Trail
27 miles; 1633.3 (59.36) total miles; 3494.96 trip miles
70’s, sunny with some clouds, and chilly
Deer count is 98
Marmot count is 51
Rattlesnake count is 6
Bear count is 5
Pika count is 2
I didn’t sleep worth a crap last night. My back was super sore and BA’s phone had a message from a call he missed and it would beep every 5 minutes or so. The alarm went off at 5 and I took a quick shower and then so did BA. I packed my bag and we hit the road. We got some water and juice at the gas station and the next stop was the trail. We got to the trail about 7 or so. I filled up my water and said goodbye.
I was hiking shortly after BA left. I started my day with a 3.7 mile climb and it seemed I was breathing heavy on most of the climbs today, especially the first one. During the climb, I passed into the Marble Wilderness. Once to the top, I was on the Southeast end of Razor Ridge. It didn’t look like one, that’s for sure.
I then descended through the trees along the inside of a huge valley. Since the sun was on the opposite side of the ridge, it was cold. My hands were cold enough I thought about stopping and getting my gloves out. I was shocked when I saw someone coming towards me. It was a young lady named Alison. She had started her hike with another girl, but she lost heart and went home. Alison was doing a southbound of the state of California. We chatted a bit and then went our opposite ways. Not too far after Shelly Fork Trail, I ran into another girl hiking south. She was doing a section with her boyfriend who was behind her. We chatted a bit too, and then off I went. Next I chatted with the boyfriend.
Just after seeing them, I stopped for lunch in a nice camp. I ate lunch then even though it was super chilly. I attempted a nap. I got some rest to make up for last night, but not much. It was my longest lunch since the desert. I left lunch just after 2 PM. I had a steep climb up to “conspicuous saddle” as my book called it. On the other side I got to see the real Marble Wilderness. It was almost like a mini version of the Sierras. It was beautiful. I descended to only go back up some steep switchbacks. When I got to the top, I was shocked once again to find yet another young woman sitting there. Her name was Mackenzie, she was part of a 15 person group who have been traveling and hiking since I started in Campo. Their ages range from 21 to 28 and they teach each other their skill sets during the trip. The best part is they are not part of some organized group, but they did this on their own. We talked a while and then I followed her to the next trail junction where she left her pack. She just missed her friends so she went off to catch up.
I had a snack and treated some water. I headed off to then run into one of her group just down the trail. The poor girl’s pack was as big as her. She could barely lift it. I felt bad for her. At this point I couldn’t believe the number of people I had seen on a Thursday. I fully expected to see no one the whole 2 days to Seiad Valley. I then passed Cold Springs and Shadow Lake Trail, and as I traversed an open hillside, I met Steve. He was out with a friend and was going to be out about a month. We chatted about how beautiful the Marbles were and all the wildflowers. I went on to find his friend, Jeff, and his dog Arrow, a Golden, at the Junction to Sky High Valley Trail. I debated going down to the lakes with them but didn’t. I went on to the Marble Valley Guard Station. I cooked dinner and as I did 6 deer walked all around. They got to within 20′ of me. I got a few pictures.
I packed up and moved on to Big Rock Camp. Along the way I passed some caves in the marble rock and also some cool cliffs. The caves were in the ground and appeared to be made by running water. I traversed over to Big Rock, which was just that – a big rock that rolled down from the cliffs above. I missed the turn off for the camp, so I went up to the junction with the Box Camp Trail. It’s not in my book, but it had a sign. I found a flat spot just down Box Camp Trail, where I set up and hit the hay. Today was weird for me. I saw 7 people so I wasn’t really alone, but I had this overwhelming feeling I was alone. I think hearing Greenleaf talk about quitting due to the lonely nights and big miles made me worry. I’m currently in a bubble where I don’t see myself catching those in front and those behind me won’t catch me. I had already mentally broken my last 54 days into 3 Long Trails, which I did alone. I think all the talking to Sam and my parents about the plans for the border and whose going etc. has got me thinking too big instead of the remainder as smaller sections. I’m sure when I wake up it will be gone. It just kind of wore at me today.
Scatman 2011- What a beautiful day. The Marble Mountain Wilderness was amazing. I really enjoyed hiking through here. I might have hiked 27 miles but I enjoyed it so much it didn’t feel like 27. Sure the day was long but it felt, right. I look back now and think my feeling lonely had more to do with seeing BA and wanting to be with people I knew and not just random strangers on the trail.
As I said before it was about now that I was tired of the consistent packing and unpacking. Being on the move and feeling the pressure of knowing I had to do it again once I woke up didn’t give you much to look forward to when going to bed. There weren’t many surprises that’s for sure.
Get out there!