Day 94 – halfway there!

July 6, 2016

Callahan’s Lodge (mile 1715.2) to bushcamp (mile 1738.6)

Miles: 23.4

Total miles walked: 1332.3

Sleeping in a king size bed felt wonderful. We were able to snuggle and then sleep like starfish without disturbing one another. Someday we hope to have this same luxury in our home. Until then, we will continue to enjoy our cozy tent home and occasional nights in big beds.

Although we were next to the highway the noise didn’t bother any of us, not even with the window open.

Our room was east facing and the rising sun was beautiful. The open blinds let in the bright orange rays of yet another clear Northern California day.

We woke up around 6 am and continued to work on blog posts. We like to get caught up before walking away from reception. It lets you, the readers, stay updated and allows us a clean slate for the next “backpacking trip.”

We consider this whole 6 month adventure a string of shorter backpacking trips. It makes it sound much more feasible, more enjoyable and less overwhelming.

When sorting through our resupply packages the day before we realized we had one too many dinners. Since they were all good, we decided to each eat one for breakfast instead of going to the restaurant downstairs.

So around 7:30 am Andy enjoyed buckwheat with sautéed veggies and a tin of sardines while Laurie wolfed down quinoa with kale and pinto beans.

At 9 am we hoisted our now full and heavy packs and walked away from Callahan’s Lodge. Our mighty trail family of 5 had shrunk to only 3. Cardinal was going home and Fixie was taking a zero.

Speed walked with us back under Interstate 5 and along the old hwy 99 for what felt like forever. The road was a gradual and continuous up. It was one of those roads that don’t look bad but when biking up them your legs burn.

Our legs were burning today just by walking – but not because we were walking fast – our backpacks were too darn heavy!

It was about a mile on asphalt before we noticed the familiar PCT emblem on a signpost.

Ah… Soft dirt! It felt fabulous.

We walked along the roller coaster trail for about 10 miles before stopping for lunch. We walked past Pilot Rock – an outcropping rock with hexagon shaped spires.

The trail meandered between forests and grassy meadows. The scenery was not as dramatic as in the past week but still beautiful. We were surrounded by green and brown rolling hills. The temperature was pleasant and the sun was out.

Unfortunately Laurie wasn’t feeling good. Today was the first day of her period and she felt sluggish. Her backpack was heavy with 5 days of food synched tightly around her already bloated waist and hips. The first few miles and hours rolled by slowly.

At lunch Andy offered to carry Laurie’s food bag. She reluctantly took him up on the offer, feeling guilty for not carrying her own stuff.

“We are a team” he kept reminding her.

“Okay, okay… But if you feel one ounce of pain let me know and I will take it back.”

The exchange was made and off we went. Laurie felt more comfortable and Andy felt good knowing he was helping.

The afternoon was uneventful. We got water from a beautiful spring that had water flowing from 3 parts of a pipe.

Again we walked up and down small hills and in and out of the sun and shade. Andy’s new blue shoes acted as a rock magnet as he tripped his way through the miles.

He had a small temper tantrum after tripping over one too many rocks. The extra weight of his pack propelled him forward and with every trip came an even harder landing.

Luckily he was never injured, just frustrated. After tossing his hiking poles 20 feet ahead of him and kicking one of them when we reached it, he felt better and continued on.

At mile 1731.3 we passed our personal halfway mark. There was no sign post of course but we did our own little celebration. It was a toned down version of a celebration as Laurie wasn’t feeling so hot and we just wanted to reach camp.

At 7:15 we came to one of our proposed campsites. Speed was asleep under a tree. He had eaten and was resting, waiting to hear our thoughts on continuing or making home for the evening.

It didn’t take long for us to decide to stay. We had hiked plenty, particularly with a 9 am start.

We ate a yummy dinner, polished off a bag of 18 Rabbits granola and made a plan for the next day.

Ideally we have 1 more day of easy walking before the snow and blow downs… We will see though, each person we talk to has a slightly different trail report.

For now we hope to go to sleep soon to the noise of the waterfall less than a tenth of a mile away.

Tonight we are grateful for injury free tripping and supportive partners.

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Pilot Rock

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Sluggish Dribbles

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We're halfway there!!

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