Day 75: Smoky Trail And New Faces.

July 24th, 2021

Mile Marker: 1518.9

Miles Hiked Today: 17.69

I slept in this morning later than usual but enjoyed staying in bed. Journey and I went to breakfast at a cute, small cafe and filled up on breakfast burritos.

We decided to hang around until 12:20 to take the public bus back to the trail head until we realized that it was a Saturday and the bus wasn’t running. 🤦🏽‍♀️ We then started walking down the road sticking our thumbs out hoping some kind soul would pull over.

To our delight an older gentleman pulled over after about 10 minutes of us walking.

He said he has just come from the PCT from a short backpacking trip. We got to talking and he mentioned to us how he was in the Peace Corps in the 70s. I turned around to Journey with a look of “No freaking way”. He served in the Philippines and shared some stories. I told him I had also served in the Peace Corps and he turns, looks at me, and said, “Yeah, you got that face”.

I’m still uncertain of what he meant by that, but I think I will take it as a compliment. 😅

He dropped us off and Journey and I were ready to tackle miles.

I was feeling good right before Shasta and after a night in a hotel and good food that I actually had an appetite for. I was ready for some hiking.

We had a rather late start and decided that we would go for as long as we could and see where we ended up.

The air around us is smoky but not bad enough that it hurts to breathe. It just makes a strange reddish tint where it feels like it is the evening all day but that’s it.

The trail took us through a gradual 8 mile uphill climb and then for a 5 mile steep incline. Journey and I weren’t really phased though. We kept the pace 3 miles per hour pretty easily. It was nice that both of us finally felt ready to tackle miles.

While working on the uphill climb, it brought us out onto a beautiful ledge with smoky views. It felt weird to think it looked pretty even with the smoke but also sad because we knew that smoke was probably from the roaring Dixie fire that had started right behind us in Belden.

We now feel lucky that we only had to skip 26 miles compared to the others who have had to skip huge sections.

I can’t believe we had just barely hiked out of all the new trail closures.

I plugged in some headphones and listened to some podcast and was up the climb with ease. It’s amazing how much a good podcast can distract you. Once up top, we saw these gorgeous little yellow flowers near our water source. I don’t think I have seen anything quite like it.

We then hiked on for a few more miles to finish out the day with 17ish miles by 7:44. We could have kept hiking but it was getting late.

It was the perfect time to get set up and eat some dinner.

I’m ready for a big day tomorrow and to put some miles in.

There are quite a few hikers around us that we haven’t seen before, more than likely they have come from the fire closures. It feels a little claustrophobic but, it is what it is. I figure we will probably be hiking more miles than most and will get out of this new bubble.

My eyelids are so heavy and there is a nice breeze blowing through. Time to sleep!

Iz and Oz

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