Tent site – Interstate 80
17.8 miles. 2701ft up. 3288ft down.
The deer were persistent last night! They were crunching about. They were really close, I wasn’t worried about them getting me, but I was worried about them eating my things. My shoes. My socks. My trekking pole handles. They like pee and salt. I’m pretty sure I’ve pee’d on my shoes. So I zipped my fly up and just hoped they wouldn’t get to them. I went to sleep pretty quickly and Catwater was up a lot of the night fending off the deer!
The sunrise was so beautiful this morning. It’s times like these when you just want to be able to sit for an hour and watch it. It wasn’t far today so I ended up just keeping on walking. I didn’t stop for water and I didn’t stop to eat. I stopped briefly to take my layers off but other than that I just kept plodding on, slowly, continually marvelling at the beauty of the trail and the amazing colours.
I saw some pretty fresh bear prints, they were over the top of the footprints, so I thought this would be my chance. I creeped as stealthily as possible down the trail, using the wind rustling through the mule ears to my benefit. But of course I saw nothing. No bears. Like I knew I wouldn’t. Just more stretches of beautiful trail.
I heard someone coming up behind me and I assumed it was Catwater but it was Broken Toe. I was amazed to see him, he was so far ahead of me. But he said he got bored and he feared he had over-romanticised the trail and he was questioning why he was doing it again. So he got to Ashland and he took 9 days off (and he has still caught me up!). He is back doing big miles.
It is easy to over-romanticise the trail. It’s easy just to remember the fun and the beauty and put the boredom and loneliness and dirt to the back of your mind.
I carried on and made it to the Peter Grubb hut, a cool back country hut mainly used in the winter for back country skiers. I had decided to wait to go to the loo so I could use the outhouses here. Big mistake. I opened the door and I was nearly sick. It was really smelly. Inside the hut I signed the trail register but it was chilly inside so I sat outside and waited for Catwater.
Only 3.5 more miles to the highway 80 rest stop and where Catwaters friend Cory was going to pick us up. With about a mile to go he was walking towards us to meet us on the trail. When we got to the rest stop I made a beeline to the toilet as I had now been hanging on for nearly 18 miles. The loos were empty and I went in to do my business. I heard a woman saying ‘I have to check if they’re empty, you can’t come in if there is someone in here’. Then I heard her say ‘oh god, it’s all over your shoes!’ The man she was talking to went into the cubicle next to me. Obviously something wasn’t right so I hurried and got out of there as quick as I could. When I opened the toilet door there was shit everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. I had never seen so much shit. The poor man obviously had quite a problem, so I tiptoed my way around the shit and got out of there as quickly as I could.
I really should have just gone in the woods!!
We went back to Corey’s house and showered and did laundry. A luxury after only having done all that a couple of days ago, but we are heading into a 9 day stretch without any washing so we made the most of it.
It was getting close to 6pm and I had only eaten a couple of snacks in the morning so I was starving. We went out and I had the burger I had been craving since I didn’t get one in Sierra City. This time I got to see the north of the lake, a different stop to South Lake Tahoe last year. The burger was so good (although JJs stills reigns supreme) but it was weird being in a normal town, not a trail town, and seeing people just going about their normal lives.
After that we went shopping for a resupply. It was painful as usual and I just went for all the same stuff, all the stuff I normally get.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Donate here.