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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

ALMOST FINISHED!

DONNER LAKE  IN THE DISTANCE ON THE WAY TO DONNER PASS
Dick's energy was renewed from his time with Joel and Wendy, and the views as he hiked up and away from Lake Tahoe were beautiful.

TUNNEL BELOW HWY 80 AT DONNER PASS
His original plan when he left home was to only go as far as Donner Pass but he reached that point sooner than planned and still had time before he had to catch his flight home. So he continued on....

After Donner Pass where he camped for the night, he was startled out of a deep sleep by a noise. He thought he was having a nightmare when he woke up to the sight of a bear's head at the entrance of his tent. The bear had busted through the outside zipper and all that was between the two of them was the tent netting. Dick yelled and, fortunately, the bear took off. Dick had left his bear canister with my brother, Joel, because he didn't want to carry the extra 2 lbs since it wasn't required. He was only required to carry his food in the canister through the Sierras and Lassen National Park. I asked him why he didn't hang his food and he said if he hung it the bear would get it for sure! Keeping it in the tent with him he would be able to protect it and at least have a chance to negotiate. :-}

AFTER DONNER PASS, DICK HIKED PAST THE PETER GRUBB HUT.
IT WAS OVERFLOWING WITH HIKERS STAYING FOR THE NIGHT, SO HE CHOSE

TO STAY IN HIS TENT UP THE TRAIL. LITTLE DID HE KNOW HE WOULD BE
SHARING HIS TENT THAT NIGHT WITH A BEAR.
I received an email from our friend, Sue Piscatella, who lives in Nevada City. She had been keeping up on Dick's hike and coordinated with me and the satellite communicator approximately when he would be crossing hwy 49, which was a couple hours from her house. She wanted to surprise him with snacks. 

 DICK WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WHEN SUE MET UP WITH HIM ON THE TRAIL  (early morning).

TRAIL ANGEL SUE ARRIVED WITH FOOD!
SUE's Text to me: So I got there around 6:30 and decided to hike in until 7 a.m. thinking I would see him. Since it was mostly up hill I decided I would walk until 7:10 and than turn around.  Two old guys and a young girl passed me.  I asked about Dick but they said everyone was still in their tents when they left.  So then I started to think I missed him, that he got up early or my mileage was wrong. But I said keep going you didn’t come this far not to see him.  
At 7:08, 2 minutes from turning around, I see a guy and say Hi Dick...took him a minute and he recognized me.  So we hiked to my car and we went to Sierra City and had breakfast. It was meant to be...nice chatting with him...he told me he misses his life, he misses his wife. ❤️  He had also planned on having lunch at Sierra City but since I had loaded him with sandwiches he was ready to go. I drove him back to the trail..he said he had 4 miles to climb up but these ups were nothing compared to the Sierras and he planned on eating again when he got to the top.  He even took the rest of the milk 😂 he looked really good.


Sue brought him a bag of donuts, a half gallon of milk and two huge hoagie sandwiches. I asked her if he smelled bad. She said,  "No, he told me when he reached Jackson Reservoir he jumped in fully dressed and he looked pretty clean. 

YUBA RIVER NORTH FORK at HWY 49
NORTH FORK FEATHER RIVER - BELDEN
CARIBOU CROSSROADS IN BELDEN
I shipped his 3RD and final resupply box to Caribou Crossroads in Belden. As he was walking the road into town a woman (another trail angel) pulled over and asked if he wanted a ride. It just happened to be the owner of Braatens Little Haven. The Braatens built an addition to their house specifically for PCT hikers, complete with two bedrooms (2 beds in each), kitchen and bathroom. She invited him to stay in one of the rooms (only $10 a night). He had a room all to himself (at least that's what he told me).  It was only a quarter mile from Braatens to Caribou Crossroads where he did his laundry and, of course, to get some food and have one of their famous milkshakes he kept hearing were “The Best Milkshakes on the PCT.” He was so into eating that he completely forgot he had his resupply box waiting for him there. A pile of resupply boxes caught his eye and then it registered. This has been his M O on this hike - when he reaches towns or food along the trail he is so into eating that he doesn't take any pictures or send any info on what he is doing, which has made it difficult for me. He admitted he is not a good photo journalist.

He left Belden and hiked most of the day and had no plans to go to the town of Chester which is about 8 miles off the trail, but when he was crossing the road leading into town, a trail angel just happened to be there dropping off a group of hikers at the trailhead. When the driver said he was heading back into town and offered him a ride, he thought, why not? He camped with several others in a church yard. He said it was nice catching up with some other hikers he'd met, plus a chance to get a shower, do laundry, and EAT. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my sister flew here from California to visit me for 8 days. There was rarely a dull moment. We were on the go visiting friends and family and just enjoying northern Michigan together. 


ENJOYING TIME WITH MY SISTER, KATHY. 
NO, WE'RE NOT TWINS. 
WE TOOK A TRIP SOUTH TO SEE "THE FARM" IN MARTIN, MI.
OUR MOM WAS BORN HERE AND WHERE WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME WHEN WE WERE KIDS.
SO MANY FUN TIMES PLAYING IN THE BARN AND PLAYING BASEBALL
ON THE FRONT LAWN.....AND THE WONDERFUL MEALS HERE WITH FAMILY.....MEMORIES
THIS IS WHAT THE FARM LOOKS LIKE NOW. IT SURE SEEMED A LOT BIGGER AS KIDS.
 NO ONE WAS HOME SO WE HAD FUN LOOKING AROUND AND REMINISCING.  

IT WAS SAD TO SEE THE BARN IS GONE.


WE ENJOYED VISITING WITH OUR AUNT ROSEMARY AND UNCLE RED IN AUGUSTA.
OUR GRANDPARENTS ALSO LIVED HERE SO THIS IS ANOTHER PLACE WE
VISITED A LOT WHEN WE WERE KIDS. LOVED OUR TIMES IN THIS LITTLE TOWN.

(THE FIRST YEAR OF MY LIFE I LIVED THERE.)


Also, I had RV friends, Tony and Dee Dee Sparks, camp in our yard overnight as they passed through on their way to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Dick missed out on a fun visit with them. I wasn't quite sure how their 34' motorhome was going to fit in our driveway, but Tony managed to turn it around in our yard and the spot was perfect. (George & Nan - now we know where you'll be parking your motorhome when you arrive).


I've enjoyed being home but I miss my RV lifestyle and I feel like I'm missing out on some beautiful areas where Dick is hiking (besides being closer to him where I can see him more). 

Meanwhile, back on the trail, from Chester, Dick headed for Lassen National Park. His plan was to camp just outside the southern border and then do the miles through the park since he no longer carried the required bear canister. Other hikers told him about a campground 5 miles into the park with bear boxes so he stayed the night there. (For those who don't know what a bear box is - pic below.) He hiked the remaining 20 miles the next day to reach the northern border of the park. He was hiking in very hot weather at this point so he'd hoped for a tree-shaded trail but, unfortunately, his hike in the park was mostly through a burned area. Again he was thankful for his trusty umbrella.




After leaving the tiny town of Old Station, just north of Lassen NP he hiked a high treeless ridge for 30 miles all the way to Burney, hiking again in triple digit heat. About 10 miles in he passes a cooler full of refreshments for hikers - pop, water, oranges etc... The timing was just right! He was getting low on water. Then he'd hiked about another 10 miles when what to his wondering eyes should appear, but a guy with a truck camper handing out root beer floats to hikers (pictured below - Coppertone is his trail name). Dick wondered how he kept all the ice cream cold in that little camper freezer. The generosity he's seen and experienced on the Pacific Crest Trail amazes him. Trail Magic for sure.



Heading north from Lassen towards Burney Falls he headed for the Burney Tourist Ranch - a beautiful Oasis for hikers in a scenic setting. It is only 1/4 mile off the trail and he smelled food. After his "energy" breakfast, he did his laundry, took a $3 shower and he was back on the trail by 10 a.m.  Wow - nice place in the middle of nowhere (pic below).




Today Dick is just outside of Dunsmuir, where he will catch a 6 hour train ride to Sacramento. (First he will get a room so he can clean up a bit so he doesn't gross everyone out) My brother, Joel, is going to pick him up and deliver him to my sister (the one who visited me) and brother-in-law. He will stay with them until the 31st when he'll catch a red-eye out of Reno. I'm sure they have lots of plans and will pamper him and feed him well. He will have hiked a total of 850 miles on this section of the PCT. A total of 1501 miles since Campo at the border of Mexico. He hikes around 25 to 30 miles a day. He said that he has "literally walked his ass off", and that he is skin and bones and he smells real bad!! But he says he feels great - no aches or pains. This trip is the total opposite of the section he hiked in March where he endured rain (or snow) every day. This time there was not a drop of rain the whole 6 weeks.


Photos below taken when he reached the MID POINT OF THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL. The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. 





4 comments:

  1. Whee! Thanks for all the trail info and the photos. Mary E. will know all those places and can re-live. Hope you saw her last post where she said she sort of wishes she had known about the PCT in her twenties.....but Dick just keeps going -- 850 miles...congratulations to him...and to you, who kept the home and his connection going.

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  2. Really fun to read and happy that Dick is happy! The trail angels are incredible!

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  3. Awesome trip, great pix in great scenery. Obviously, nobody is starving, except perhaps the nosy bear.
    Thanks for posting. I hiked all the way from my Casita to the clubhouse where I stopped to rest and recover with an ice cream bar.

    ET

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  4. Gaila,
    Thanks for update. We both laughed out loud with your descriptions! Tell Dick we'll cook him a steak! Let's go for a sail, see you soon.
    Gregg & MaryAnne

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