MILE 1195.4 – 1286.9


Day 87 – 0 miles

This is hands down the best zero day I’ve had on trail. I slept a fantastic 12 hours! Wow! The diner breakfast was great, and we got all our town chores done by noon.

We went down to the Yuba River to have a river day. We loved our river days back at home and the Yuba feels really familiar and comforting to me. I love it here.

At the river, we found Jamie. What a pleasant surprise! We had met him back in the desert at Montezuma and it’s awesome to be seeing him around again.

More people showed up, a big tramily it seemed like, but they were really cool. Some tramilies seem cliquey and rude, but this one wasn’t. They were super inviting and made us feel included.

Angler went to fish, and I swam over to the rocks to do some cliff diving with everyone. I haven’t jumped off a rock since last summer, it was so fun I did it twice.

I swam back over to Angler and Jamie and continued to roast in the sun for a few hours. I didn’t do a great job with my sunscreen so I definitely got burnt. We started to get hungry so we left to go get dinner.

We went to the golf course and had dinner. I got a pork chop, veggies and a baked potato and it was so nice to have real, non fried foods. It was delicious.

We went back to the attic-hotel and finished getting some stuff together. Tomorrow I get to see my brother and my dad. This is crazy to me, like… I’m actually fucking doing this, why is it just registering what I’m doing? Wow.

Day 88 – 18. To 6 miles

Today my dad and brother met us at Sierra City. It was so weird to just see them again and like realize how close I am to home, and also, how close we are to Oregon.

We all had breakfast. It was great. It was kinda like I hadn’t even left or anything and we were all hanging out. Wayde drove his car here, and my dad drove it home – on the way up the trail, he heard a honk and my dad went just ripping by, apparently he figured out sport mode.

Hiking with Wayde has been awesome. It’s like nothing has changed and we’re having the best type 2 fun together. I’m glad he followed through and decided to come with us. We’re all having such a cool experience together.

My dad thankfully dropped off some new gauges, a new cnoc and some bunion pads. Life is a lot easier today because of those things. My feet felt a lot better! I’ve re-laced my shoes too, so I think that’s also helping.

Tonight we camped in what I thought would be a secluded place. But then a whole family showed up. I usually am really bothered by this kinda stuff. I don’t sleep even under perfect conditions. But I’m kinda starting to learn something – you just gotta roll with what you’ve got. The more you fight it, the worse off you are.

Day 89 – 18.8 miles

We tried to wake up at 6am but just weren’t feeling that, so we slept in til 6:30. We were all surprised to see that the family was still there because they had apologized in advance about the noise the night prior, and it was dead silent there all night.

We all made breakfast. Angler said he scared something away from Wayde’s food last night, thankfully it never came back.

We ran into the family again a little ways down the trail. They were Midnight Rider, Shaman, Keychup, Fry and Kerplunk. I recognized them from Instagram. I have to say, some people on Instagram are really phoney, these people are not. They were really incredible.

It was a long day, a lot of ups and downs. Wayde did really great, he certainly knows how to embrace the suck. I’m glad he’s here with us.

The wildflowers are unreal. So many, everywhere you look, they just go on for miles. It’s so lush and green, really helps distract from how hot it’s getting. It’s definitely July.

We ran into Gazelle and Stretch a lot today. It was fun to take breaks with them and see them around. It was also really cool that Wayde gets to meet these great people that we’re hiking with.

Tonight we’re camped near Quincy LaPorte road. We got our water from a culvert along the road, and Wayde gets a taste of what this glamorous PCT life is all about.

Day 90 – 18.2 miles

We awoke to our campsite near the road. For most of the light, foxes shrieked and deer paraded around our camp. Otherwise, I slept ok actually.

We made some breakfast and started the day, today was essentially just a giant downhill broken up by some small climbs. I called this area the “knee crusher” because this is where I blew my knees out on my 2019 section hike.

I am happy to announce that this time I did not blow my knees out. I didn’t even come close. Wayde really hung in there and did way better than I did in 2019.

We entered the burn scar, it wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be (so far anyway). I mean, maybe cause the Camp Fire was the worst in CA history so I’m just used to the worst? That’s kinda funny in a fucked up way.

It was dusty. Like really dusty. Like somehow end up coating everything you carry, even somehow the stuff inside your pack dusty. The ash didn’t help with that at all.

We saw a few hikers today but they were honestly assholes. There are definitely assholes out here. I think sometimes, when people are miserable, they project it onto others. I don’t take it personal, I’m just glad I’m not a miserable sap like them (and even when I am, use it as a lesson to not take it out on others).

Belden is so close! I can’t believe I’m here right now. My feet didn’t hurt nearly as bad as they have been, and my body feels otherwise great. The lower milage with Wayde right now is helping I’m sure. Wayde only has two more days! I can tell this is really starting to wear him down but he’s doing great! I remember how wrecked I was in 2019 and it’s crazy to think how far I’ve come.

And how far I can continue to go…

Day 91 – 18.3 miles

We awoke to surprisingly no condensation despite camping right on the creek. We made breakfast and started the big climb out of the Middle Fork, it was cooler, we thought it was cloudy.

It wasn’t. It was smoke. Thankfully not from a fire near here, seems fitting it would be smokey when we get home. The climb was long but honestly not too bad with the lower temps.

We crushed it fairly quickly, and had a decision to make. Angler found a comment on FarOut about a cool shortcut that both takes you to the store in Buck’s Lake but also back to the PCT. We’re gonna do it!

We started the road walk. We hitched, and got one fairly quickly. It was a man named Tom, we rode in the bed of his truck right to the store. But no, we weren’t going to the store, he had a cabin right behind it. He offered us beers and a nice place to sit, and we couldn’t say no!

We sat on his back patio with him and his family for a while and talked. It was so cool to meet all of them, such nice people! I can’t believe people! They are too good to me, I have to pay it forward.

They fed us chips and salsa, then offered to take us to the restaurant. Of course! We got to the restaurant, thanked Tom again and got some much needed food, I was actually running out a bit.

On the way back, we had to do a road walk. Because of the ride from Tom, we decided it would be easiest to just go back to Buck’s Summit instead of walking around the lake. We hitched again and again! Got another one!

They told us to get in the bed, it was full of beers and a BBQ which Wayde got really cozy with. They dropped us off, we thanked them too, then we all shared a good laugh about the grill mark left on Wayde’s leg.

We pushed the final 3 miles to camp. I’m so glad to see some of my favorite parts before Spanish Peak aren’t burnt. I took a photo here in 2019 that’s been my phone background ever since, and it was cool to be here again.

It’s all so surreal, being here. I can’t believe this is my life right now. Having Wayde join us was just the reset I needed, I’m so thankful to have this experience. Tomorrow we go to Belden and I’ve honestly been dreaming about this moment for the past 3 years.

Day 92 – 15.7 miles

Town day! And not just any town day, it was THE town day. Belden. Arguably as important to me as the Northern Terminus. Home.

Wayde woke us up, I joked that he was doing my job since we’ve been waking him up every morning. It was already getting hot, so we got a move on.

And boy did we. We crushed 10 miles by noon. As we approached the junction for Three Lakes, I thought about when I couldn’t even make it half way up the climb out of Belden towards Three Lakes. When I would have to stop eight times up Head Dam because I was so out of breath. And how even a mile seemed impossible to me after my spine was fused and I was so frail and weak.

It’s amazing how far a person can come. I sometimes feel like I’m not progressing or bettering myself. Sometimes I feel really stagnant, and down right confused about my life and how I even feel about anything.

Today I saw progress. As we crested over Three Lakes Summit, scorched bare, the Feather River Canyon opened up below us. The smoke was thick and hazy, it was windy.

Snags towered above us as we switchbacked endlessly to the canyon floor. With each switch back, we caught glimpses of the road, river and train tracks below. Closer and closer, until we hit the tracks. I just walked home.

We went and got some food, and hung out at the beach until my dad picked us up. He dropped Angler and I off at Angler’s dad’s house where we’re going to stay for a few days. I had to find some clean clothes to wear and quickly became overwhelmed by the amount of shit that I own.

I’m sleeping in my bed tonight. I’m privileged to live here, so close to the trail. Not everyone can just go home for a few zeros at the halfway point. My body hurts. My back hurts, my feet are in terrible shape. But I’m already thinking about the trail. How it’s out there waiting for me, and I’m living my dream right now.

Day 93 – 0 miles

I took a zero at home today.

Well, not my home. Nick’s dad, Mitch’s home. Close enough! I met my grandma at Jaki’s for breakfast, it felt so weird to be walking in Magalia.

I had a great time with my grandma. We got breakfast and then went to Paradise Lake to take a walk. I think that’s our thing. Then we went back to their house and had lunch. I got to see my Poppa, he has an eye patch because he got himself into a silly situation again. Feels like I never left.

I took some things back to Mitch’s house and drove my car for the first time in 3 months. When I got in, I remembered my tail light was out, and then I also remembered my registration is expired (this is not an admission of guilt) and to top it off, a check engine light was on and it’s throwing 3 codes. Fuck it. I’m going to Chico anyway.

I went back to my old job to say hi to some of my old coworkers. I was getting dinner with my good friend Brandon so I figured why not stop by and say hi before. Man, was it cool to see everyone! It was all pretty much exactly the same, felt like I never left really. So much has happened on trail, I think time moves different between the two.

I ran a few errands, mostly looking for different bunion pads. My feet are still pretty not great. Nobody could really help too much and no stores had anything too much better. Typical Chico. It was humid and I hate it there.

I loved the freedom of having my car again. It was nice to just take off. I didn’t like the complications of running errands. Sometimes too many options might be a bad thing. I miss the trail, even though it hurts me physically and emotionally some days… normal life does that to me too though.

Day 94 – 0 miles

Today was alright. We went down to Chico to get some resupply stuff, unfortunately nobody sold wide shoes or Injinjis, so I guess those things will have to wait.

I’m feeling overwhelmed about thinking about life after the trail, I miss the trail and coming home has kinda just made me love the trail more.

I feel kinda scared about what the future holds once we get off trail.

Day 95 – 0 miles

Woke up today feeling crummy from the cigarette smoke in Mitch’s house. I decided to just spend the day at the river to get away from it and clear my lungs a bit.

It was nice to go have a river day. When I get back I want to stay in good shape, I’m going to try to start running again. Before we left I felt like I never had the time or energy. I spent a lot of energy being upset about stuff at work, or stressing about errands, or feeling obligated to keep up perfectly on house chores and dinners. A lot of those expectations came from myself, I would like to be easier on myself when we get back.

I was slightly worried that coming home would make me not want to get back on trail. I think it’s done the opposite though, I might not want to leave the trail once we’re done.

I got to see my family today which was cool. Everyone seems to be doing well so that’s always good to hear. My sister’s kid is getting really big, he says real words now.

Today was nice, I felt a bit of familiarity being home. I think I will always feel displaced though, and there is nothing wrong with that. I think it will keep my adventurous spirit alive.

Day 96 – 0 miles

I woke up feeling off today. Just generally not great.

We ran some last minute errands, and then it was time to wait for Angler’s brother, Jesse, to pick us up. He was taking us to his home in Red Bluff.

I got itchy feet again. I can’t sit still, I can’t sit in this house a moment longer! I need to go! I don’t know where, I just can’t be stationary.

I dropped my car off at my grandma’s house in Paradise and decided to just walk back to Magalia. I bought a White Claw and some candy, I was going to be that degenerate drinking on the bike path. The one that my mom warned me about as a kid.

I was off and running. I took a shortcut through my old neighborhood that I grew up in. Not that anything looked familiar, it’s a charred wasteland there now. I cut through to the bike path, the same one I used to walk as a kid.

I cracked open the White Claw, popped in my headphone and did the only thing that feels right sometimes – I started walking. I got to my dad’s shop, stopped and chatted with Wayde and my dad for a while, discarded my can, and carried on.

I stopped by the Butte Strong Memorial and had a good cry. Sometimes you gotta let it out. I cried for my cats, and I mostly just cried because I felt sorry for myself. Nothing here is familiar anymore, kinda nowhere is.

Sweat dripped from my nose as I made my way to Magalia, the 105 degree heat beating down on me. I got back to Mitch’s, and some afterwards, Jesse picked us up.

We said goodbye to Paradise again.

When we got to Red Bluff, I got to see my sweet boy, Plumas. I missed him so much, he remembered me.

We decided to stay another day, the heatwave is really intense right now and I learned from the desert to not push my luck with dehydration.

I don’t even feel a little bad about knowing my limits, a far cry from how I felt in Bishop.

Day 96 – 0 miles

Nothing went as planned.

Fires are erupting all over Southern Oregon.

I’m not ready for this to be over yet.

I would be lying if this wasn’t discouraging.

We have a plan, and while I won’t go into detail about what exactly it is. I’ll just leave it with this…. Sometimes, the path isn’t linear.


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