83. July 2: Mile 1153.88 Campsite to Mile 1168.49 Campsite
Today was a good day. Actually it was a great day. Nothing spectacular or eventful happened, but then again that’s probably why I enjoyed it so much considering last week from Echo Lake to Truckee was quite eventful. The morning was quite clear of snow so we were able to get to the I-80 rest stop that was just off the trail within an hour after starting to heat up some hot oatmeal since we forgot to pre-soak our oats the night before and eat them cold an hour or two after leaving camp like we normally do. There was quite a bit of condensation in the tent last night so we exploded our packs and set the tent and sleeping bags out in the sun to dry while we ate breakfast. It was really weird sitting there next to the rest stop building with all of our gear spread out. When we were in Truckee which is a trail town everyone we met pretty much knew we were hikers and a lot of people offered us rides even when we didn’t need them. At the rest stop people completely avoided eye contact with us as if we were homeless scum. The few who did make eye contact didn’t even say “hello” back when we said “hi”. Didn’t really realize that we were conducting some kind of social experiment when we sat down. Passer byes didn’t seem to acknowledge that we were even human. The experience will certainly change (or at least I hope it does) the way I acknowledge the poor, the homeless, or the lesser thans when I come back to normal life. All humans deserve to be treated with dignity and honor regardless of their social status or life circumstances.
The snow came back soon enough and filled much of the day’s hike. It really didn’t slow us down all that much since there weren’t any steep traverses to tackle. Even though the snow still slows you down, you can manage to make some miles when it flatter and we were able to get almost 15 in by the time Glowworm and I made it to camp. Dr. McDirty and Cougar rolled in not long after us and are camped a couple hundred meters up the trail. We’re beginning to separate more now that the snow is less treacherous.
We’re hoping we can get into Sierra City by the 4th. The snow appears to be lessening based on reports we’ve heard. Snow conditions up the trail look to be increasingly favorable as well. This next section between Sierra City and Belden (go to pctmap.com for a nice map of the trail for reference) looks to be similar to what we have experienced in the last week with on and off snow with some sketchy traverses and lots of brush and blowdowns on the trail. But after Beldon things look to be drying up pretty good. As the weeks go by conditions should be changing rapidly and the further north we go the better it should be by the time we get there. Oregon currently is half snow half dry depending on where you are so by the time we get there in a month or so it should be prime backpacking season (minus the impending mosquitos).