Mile 702 To 720
I wake to a wet tent and a damp sleeping bag, but the rain has stopped. I drag my gear up to the store’s covered deck, then find a tree to hang my tent and bag to dry. I make a significant contribution to the hiker box and I did not even open the other box of shoes and food Terri had sent (there was a slight mixup on which shoes I wanted). Because it was sent priority mail and I did not open it, it can be “bounced” to another address. I decide to just bounce it home.
I say goodbye to my old shoes that carried me these 700 miles. They still have some tread so I toss them in the hiker box. The smell, however, makes me feel a little guilty.
I get a lazy start on the trail, an embarrassing 8:00 am. I plan to do fewer miles because of the storm and don’t want to end up on a windy snow covered ridge. The climb is relatively easy, and the sense of finally being in the Sierra quite pleasant. There are even streams with significant water.
I am beginning to feel a bit like an astronaut circling the moon. The first part of the trip I was under the watch command of my sister, brother in-law and parents. Eventually I will be far enough north that my wife will take over. But right now, starting after Tehachapi and continuing through the Sierra, I am on the other side of the moon – in complete radio darkness. There is no cell service and no internet. I tap out blog entries every night, but they go nowhere – well, even more so than usual.
I walk alone almost the entire day. There is really little sign of the storm. It is hard to image that a couple of days before people were turning back, unable to continue in the snow, rain and freezing wind. Eventually Klutz and Mountain Goat catch up to me. We seem to be between the bubbles. We camp near each other. Tomorrow we will push to even higher elevations. Perhaps the storm effect will be more clear over 10,000 feet.