Okay, so when us hikers came out of the Sierras, we had just witnessed some of the finest nature on earth, which inevitably makes the next stretch a bit bland. We may also have looked at the mileage and think: this took so much time, energy, and money and I am not even halfway yet. Then you get the Northern California blues, or “NorCal blues” and might decide to drop your hike.
Anyways, I got up a bit earlier today to enjoy the cooler morning weather. The other hikers at the camp were even slightly earlier up than me. So I’m not the crazy one. Correction: I’m not the only crazy one. I am after all trying to hike from Mexico to Canada. I got going slightly before sunrise.
At the start of today’s hike there were still some poison oak plants but an hour or two into the hike they disappeared never to be seen again. This was nice especially since today brought along an unprecedented amount of undergrowth which often intruded or outright blocked the trail. That would have made the poison oak hard to spot. Some of the time I held my trekking poles up in front of me to fend off all the twigs. It wasn’t a major problem, though. It just slowed things down a bit. At one time the trail was following the top of a ridge, but it took me a while to realize since the bushes and plants were completely blocking the views.
It wasn’t really cold in the morning like it would usually be when we were in the desert, but it did get rather warm later in the day, which together with a very high humidity put a marked damper on things. My usual technique of wetting my sleeves wouldn’t work well here. It wasn’t terribly uncomfortable for me though as long as I wasn’t rushing things. I did drink a lot of water though and all of the sweat makes me look forward to getting my shirt washed.
I talked a bit with a friendly Australian guy, “Eon” who had camped at the same place as me. He had started quite a bit earlier and had crossed the Sierras way earlier than me but hadn’t had too many problems as he had been lucky to squeeze in between two snow storms. He said that he also hoped to be lucky to squeeze in between any fire closure further up north. There is unfortunately a section of the trail in the south of Oregon that is closed due to a fire, but we were hoping for it to reopen before we get there. We both want our continuous footpaths through the US. He asked me where I wanted to camp. I said in 25 miles. He said that he wanted to camp a bit earlier so that he didn’t had to dry camp, that is to camp at a site without nearby water so that you would have to lug more with you.
After a hot but relatively short day, I reached my camp site. Not too after Eon showed up as he had changed his mind. That was nice as I’d have a bit of company and also made me less worried about bears.
Although there are less memorable days in between (this day included) I still enjoy this section, and I am going all the way to Canada if my feet and legs will carry me! No NorCal blues here. Look for instance at how long it took me to find a day where sufficiently little happened that it made sense to write about the blues.
This days miles: 1425-1450