Day 158 – Leisurely mornings and cow bells

September 8, 2016

Bushcamp (mile 1018.2) to Wolf Creek (mile 1039.2)

Miles: 21

Our total miles: 2397.9

We enjoyed a leisurely morning. We didn’t set an alarm and let our bodies wake up naturally. It was a surprisingly warm night and all 4 of us were cozy, if not hot at times. 

After enjoying hot chocolate and tea, we packed up and hit the trail. 

Joanna and Daniel hiked about 2 miles with us to a high point. It was a beautiful, cloudless morning. The brown rocks contrasted with the yellow dying plants and few remaining wildflowers. 

The trail did what it does best – wind around. This winding offered beautiful sweeping views of the valley to the west of Sonora Pass.

Daniel was curious about our packs and took a turn carrying each of them for at least 15 minutes. We noted how we felt significantly lighter but naked without our packs, they have become part of us. 

Around 10 am we parted ways. We really enjoyed our 24 hours together and it felt extra special to spend a night on the trail together. 

We traversed and then dropped down in a valley. A granite mountain stood tall on our right. The rest of the day the trail felt like a roller coaster. We climbed steeply and then descended, only to do it again. And it was hot and dusty too. 

It was pretty but neither of us felt particularly excited. We slogged on, hoping to make it to Wolf Creek by nightfall.

We passed some beautiful creeks with clear cool water, stopping to splash water on our faces at each of them. But soon after, another layer of dust and sweat covered our skin.

We turned a corner after passing a small creek, ascended a near vertical 30 foot wall and literally almost walked into So Far and So Good. 

They are a couple from Oakland whom we first met walking southbound near Chester. They had flipped up north and were walking south to Truckee. 

From there they hiked north and we crossed paths at least 4 more times. We hugged, exchanged info and recommendations of what was to come and made plans to reconnect once settled back in the Bay Area.

We continued to hike some short but steep up and downs. It was hot and dry and we did not feel very motivated. But, we kept walking.
The mountains glowed as the sun began to sink toward the horizon. The hills around us were golden brown, exaggerated by the setting sun.

Around 7:00 we got to Wolf Creek. We hadn’t decided on where to camp but decided that this was far enough. We were tired.

We set up our tent and went to clean off our filthy feet and legs in the puddles of water that comprised the creek. All the while listening to the clang of cow bells nearby. Surprisingly we didn’t see a cow all day.

Laurie was convinced the creek smelled like cow poop but water was water. We were happy we had collected cooking water at an earlier stream. Plus, in the desert we would have been thrilled to have come across even this little water. It’s all relative.

We ate dinner while scheming how far we would need to hike to arrive at Highway 50 two days later.

With a loose plan and a long day ahead we fell asleep to the jingle of bells.

Tonight we are grateful for lazy mornings on the trail and seeing old mountains with new eyes.

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