Day 70 | mile 1369.7 - 1409.7 | 40.0 miles
At 4:30, the girls I was camping with already had their headlamps on in their tents. Potatoes and last of the greasy cheese ball that used to be shredded cheese. Blueberry muffin and nutella. Each of those muffins are 450 calories! Lena and John mean business with those muffins. No wonder I'm not as hungry when I have one of those for breakfast.
Walking at 5:30. It's freezing! Or close to it. It's weird because I was sweating in my sleeping bag last night. I kept having to let outside air in. But at dawn, it got weirdly chilly. I had my wind layers on, but my hands and face were so cold. My nose was runny and I could see my breath. Once the sun started shining through the trees, the trail glittered and pinecones had white sparkly dust on them. It made me think of a poem by Pushkin.
Мороз и солнце; день чудесный!
Еще ты дремлешь, друг прелестный —
Frost and sunshine; magical day!
You're still sleeping, beautiful friend —
I couldn't recall how it went further, but I resolved to look it up once I got to Old Station 7 miles away. I was there at 7:30. The gas station was incredible - complete with an automated milkshake machine. I located the lightining cables right away. I had two options: $4.99 or $12. I went for $4.99 one, paid, and walked over to JJ's diner for a second breakfast.
Met Easy and Wizard. They had camped behind the gas station. We sat separately. Charging, wifi, eggs, hashbrowns, coffee in that order. I got a message from my ex-teammate, Thomas. All the minute team updates made me grin like a crazy person. I miss work so much. All the encouraging messages on Instagram and Facebook were really sweet too. Even my high school calculus teacher thinks I can do it.
Unfortunately, the $4.99 cord was a piece of shit. I don't know how you make a lightning cable that you have to jam to get into the port, but they've done it. I walked back to the gas station to exchange it for the $12 one. Officiatelly met the girls I camped with last night. They are Coins and Timber and they started together in Mexico. Impressive! They told me Baywatch was looking for me yesterday. Haha! He must’ve blown past looking for me while I was chilling in a pool-sized hot tub. Sucker!
I have a long, exposed, notoriously hot and dry section ahead of me today - Hat Creek Rim. So, I tried not to linger at Old Station too long. Left at 9.
Turns out! The mountain that I had assumed was Mt. Shasta yesterday and the day before is decidedly not Shasta. I finally glimpsed the real Shasta on the climb out of Old Station and did a double-take. Whoa. It's beautiful and I'm dumb.
Trail magic at the begining of Hat Creek Rim provided by Stew and Tina. I had a juicy orange. Thank you! Guys, I'm getting spoiled with all this food. Eggs two days in a row, double breakfasts, fresh fruit.
Once I got to the Rim, I had reception. So, I called my mom excited to recite to her the partial poem I memorized. She wasn’t too impressed! She knew the whole thing and I wasn’t pronouncing words correctly. We chatted for a half hour! Such a luxury out here. I called dad too, but he was at a doctor’s appointment with Vova.
Got to work on the Rim. It was hot and windy, but I was doing pretty well at first. It was pretty flat, which was nice. But there was a lot of loose porous lava rock, so you really had to focus to not twist your ankles. Got tired and really thirsty the last 5-ish miles to water. Tired and thirsty - winning combination. Can’t stop because there is no water, and can’t go fast because you’re tired.
Tried listening to The Better Angels of Our Nature. It’s about how peaceful and safe humanity has gotten, so I thought it would be uplifting. Unfortunately, the first chapter is spent describing torture instruments of the past, and the celebration of violence that is the Old Testament. So, yea, it was a bummer.
Once I finally got to water, the mosquitoes were not fucking around. They were out for blood. So I was trying to collect water and kill mosquitoes in 5 different places on my body at the same time. Blehhh. Got a lot of bites.
Felt a million times better after drinking. Quick 2-ish miles to Burney Mountain Guest Ranch. I actually made the wrong turn and walked through pokey plants for half a mile or so. Got here just as it got dark - 8:50.
Linda got some food ready for me - a giant burrito and salad. She explained how everything works. It’s really nice! Everything is on an honor system. You write down all the services that you used and the food that you ate. The store is basically a pantry and a refrigerator. You eat and grab whatever, and mark what you got on this little paper. So neat!
I spent 45 minutes taking spikey plant bits out of my socks and shoes. Ugh. It’s what nightmares are made of.
I took a long shower. I was all alone in the laundry room chatting with Alex about my cats when I felt cat paws on my legs. What!!!! There is a cutie Siamese cat. Her name is Bonsai, she is 3, and she is the sweetest. She was such a cuddler. I had her on my lap while I waited for laundry.
Hung up the clothes after midnight. The sky was beautiful. Sleep came quickly.