Half Way!! Off to the Wedding!!!

Wow it’s been a crazy last month. After leaving Tahoe, Team Lone Pine (Zen, Hike-a-While, Lorax, and I) headed for Sierra City to meet Lorax’s Dad and family for a bbq. Our second day out we woke up to rain, everyone laid in their tent dreading getting up. I was first to leave camp and headed up the mountain, the others seemed skeptical of my decision and wanted to wait the day out in their tents. At first it wasn’t too bad but then I got on top of the ridge and the wind was gusting up to 50mph driving the freezing rain into me. Shortly after getting onto the ridge Hike-a-While appeared behind hootin and hollering that it was the bast day ever. We continued to hike the ridge together both freezing hoping we would get into some trees soon for relief from the wind and rain but the ridge seemed to go on forever about 7 mi of exposed ridge line above Alpine Ski Resort. The trail finally dropped us into a valley of trees where the temp was much warmer. Zen and Lorax caught up to us and they were also freezing. The trail ahead went back up onto another ridge…none of us wanted to go through that again so we found a side trail and went down to a small village by the ski resort and took refuge in a coffee shop. Hot coffee was so good, I think I liked holding the hot cup in my hands more then actually drinking it. We met up with Lorax’s dad ( Hook Shot) who took us to their family’s cabin nearby. It was great! We dried out ourselves and all of our gear and got some great home cooked food. After the stormed passed two days later we hit the trail again, Slack Pack style!!! We left all our gear with Hook Shot and just took food and water for the day, we hiked 26 mi then got picked up and went back to the cabin. The next day we slack packed again, this time about 34mi I think, with no weight on our backs it was a breeze. At the end of the day we met up with Lorax’s family and had a great BBQ.
With the days off because of the rain I really needed to push the miles before leaving home for my brothers wedding. I had booked my train ticket to San Fran leaving from Dunsmuir, 300 trail miles away, and I only had 11 days to do it. In the morning we resupplied our food at the general store in Sierra City and hit the trail around noon. We pushed hard to Belden where we stopped and got some burgers and pancakes. We had dropped down a few thousand feet to Belden and it was hot!!! To get there and back it was a 14 mi climb on an exposed ridge. We decided to wait out the heat of the day and chilled by the river and went swimming. Evening came around and it was still hot but I needed to push on to make my miles for the day. The initial part of the climb was brutally hot but after a few hours it cooled off. I had pulled ahead of the crew hiking late into the night so I could get to Chester the next day to resupply. I took off in the morning headed for the PCT midpoint, mile 1325, halfway to Canada!!! When I got there it felt amazing to have come that far on the trip and excited me that I still had a whole other half left to go!
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It was unfortunate not to celebrate the milestone with Zen as we had started together and hiked all of the miles together but thats how the trail goes sometimes. After reading through the register and signing it I headed for the road to Chester. As soon as i left the midpoint the storm i had been watching form all day opened up right on top of me. It started hailing, thundering and lighting, it was probably the loudest thunder i had ever heard. Luckily the storm only lasted an hour or so and I dropped down the last few miles to Chester. When I got to the road it was dusk and i had no luck hitching so I camped out at the trailhead and decided to try and get a ride in the morning. As I was getting ready to go to sleep Zen rolled in. It was great to see him one last time and actually get to say goodbye before I pushed on ahead of him to catch my train.
In the morning we got a ride to town first thing and got a big breakfast at the local diner. Then we went to the dentist office which had a big sign in front saying welcome PCT Hikers. There we each got a $20 gift certificate to a restaurant in town!!! I resupplied food and did some laundry, and when I finished all my town chores Lorax and Hike-a-While strolled into town. They also went and got the gift certificate and we all went and got pizza and beer. They were all staying in town for the night as it was the forth of July the next day and they wanted to celebrate and slow down a bit.
The next five days were some of the toughest days I had had the whole trip. I had to average 30miles a day to get to Dunsmuir in time. I pushed through and it was fun to test my physical limit. I even accomplished a task Zen and I had talked about which was 100mi in 3 days! By the time I reached the highway to get to Dunsmuir I was exhausted. I got to town and got a big pizza and beer to celebrate and wait for my train.20130804-122400.jpg
After a day exploring San Fran where I met up with Cali we flew to back east for Evan and Emily’s wedding! It was a great trip, I hadn’t been home in over a year so it was good to see everyone. We spent some time in Cape Cod on the beach, then went to NH and went out on Squam Lake, then the wedding festivities at the beautiful orchard began. The Wedding was a blast!!! I got to see a lot of extended family that I hadn’t seen in years, and most importantly, i got to stand next to my brother at the alter.

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