Mile 1704.8-1735.9 (31.1)
I heard some creature stomping around and snorting last night. I wonder if it was Bigfoot.
Hiking by 6:30am, beautiful morning, clear and friendly sky. Pretty much all downhill to Callahan’s, why rush.
I ate my tasty town breakfast and drank a ton of coffee and charged my devices then sorted my resupply box. I found a pair of Altras that were just a half size too small and traded them for my falling-apart New Balances, the ones with holes so big I could stick my feet out of them from the side. I swapped the bright-colored skirt I’d been hiking in since my old shorts got holes in the crotch for a brand new pair of shorts. I feel so fine!
My pack is heavy with food since my appetite for trail food is down. One day I’ll get my resupplied dialed in. Probably not any day soon.
I saw Sweet Virginia as I was packing up, she just finished her flip flop through the Sierra. I’d like to see the Sierra one day without so much snow. I bet it was fast. I bet it was beautiful. But I have no regrets!
Just past noon, way later than I intended, I set out for the trail. I talked to my dad during the long road walk back to the woods. Then back to dirt trail. Half a mile in, I saw a big hiker with a huge pack clearly struggling. “How do you do it,” he asked, “How do you get your packs so small?”
I climbed up in the heat of the day, past Pilot Rock, past day hikers and trail crews, past lizards and birds and beetles. I took a little break at a spring and drank water and dried out my tent, soaked from condensation. My last miles stretched to sunset. I stealth camped overlooking the burning sun.
Before I fell asleep, I heard tree limbs snap. Animal noises. Just frequent enough to keep me up. It got closer. I could hear the bear snorting, breathing. I wasn’t afraid, since bears don’t really attack unprovoked, but I was unnerved and definitely prevented from sleeping. I clapped, I talked, I yelled out “Hey Bear!” I played Poi E on my phone, maybe more for my benefit than the bear’s. It semicircles around my tent and I peered into the forest to try to see it in the moonlight. I thought about the ants and grubs and spiders and plants it was eating, how it had to get fat for winter. I hoped it had the same disdain for trail food that I do. It left me well alone. At about 1am, it sauntered off and I finally fell asleep.