1092 – 1103
I guess I hate beds now. Especially if they have rubber sheets and there’s not enough space between my upper bunk and the ceiling. How not fair that I pay for a bed and then I can’t sleep.
I caught a bus across town to the Health Food Store. Mostly I just wanted more Oregon Chai packets. This is my new favorite trail drink. Afterwards I stuck out my thumb on Highway 50. I wonder if I will ever not feel like an asshole when I hitch? After a few minutes, I heard a woman yelling from the parking lot across the highway. I couldn’t hear her, but I wanted her to be giving me a ride. So I yelled back, “Yes!” She waved for me to come over. As we drove up the hill, she told me about coming to SLT on vacation decades ago and never leaving. She’d retired from food service in casinos and still loved the area. That’s a nice story, but I can’t imagine living in the the same place for decades at a time. Usually I’m done with a thing in a year.
Before leaving the store at Echo Lake, I talked to my mom. I told her I’d meet her and my dad at Donner Pass. And after I hung up, I realized oh my god what was I thinking? I just promised to walk 60 miles in 3 days. Shit. I guess some big days are coming up.
I started up and immediately pulled to the side for a big group. Lots of kids walking out from… someplace. Grades 3-6, maybe. They were from Berkeley! A couple of weary looking grown-ups chaperoned. I was not envious of that job.
I passed a slow walking trio: two dudes and a dog. The dog was wearing a backpack that maybe was too heavy. She was doing that tired hip dog stiff leg walk. Her people were in similar shape. I saw one guy stumble twice. Huge pack and no poles to catch himself.
My goal was to get 10 miles before camping. Which meant a little walking after dark. I had just turned on my headlamp when a dog started crazy barking right in front of me. Behind the dog were some scary robot people. Cylons? So super terrifying for a second. Then I realized that they were people wearing clothes with reflective bits, not robot assassins. I talked to the doggie and she had a sniff and then we were all cool.
I pushed myself passed numerous cute campsites. It got dark. No place to set up at ten miles so I stomped up another hill. I found my spot next to a tiny creek. I set my dinner on the stove as I set up camp. Then a helicopter flew over. It looped back and a spotlight flashed over me. I tried to hide my headlamp and cookstove flame. Someone nearby was in trouble. I worried about those tired dudes with the dog. I worried that the rescuers would mistake me for the person who’d hit the button.
The helicopter kept flying over, long after midnight. Hovering like they were looking for a place to land. Spotlighting my tent repeatedly. It was really freaky.