I did my shopping at the hippie grocery store. My parents called while I was shopping. I warned them that I might be done soon. Before leaving town, I hung out at Sisters Coffee to work on my blog.
Sisters seems like a neat little town. That highway going through the center of town is too busy. I made a final stop at a gas station to get a chile rellano burrito and a tube of cherry chapstick. I should’ve picked up more candy. Out on the road, I barely waggled my thumb and a truck pulled over. Frank, super nice dude, worked in the kitchen at Shuttle Lake Lodge. Which is only two miles from Samtian Pass and open all year round.
At the trailhead, I goofed around with my phone and repacked some things. I found a plastic bottle in the trash to use for my extra stove fuel. It was next to someone’s discarded sandwich. It was a nice looking sandwich. Who would abandon a nice sandwich like that?
The climb away from the trailhead was stunning. It got cold fast. I met a couple of unsmiling hunters on their way out. Clouds poured over me. I put on my headlamp and watched the swirls of water vapor in the air. As I crested a pass, a wall of wind hit me. For a few minutes, I stumbled through clouds and wind and darkness. I dropped down into the next valley, where it was more peaceful.
Two pairs of eyes reflected my headlamp beam. They stared at me, then boing boinged away into the night. I found a tiny pond and a flat bit next to it. It may have been below freezing by then. I stuffed my electronics and water filter inside the sleeping bag next to me. Those things can freeze.
Before I went sleep, I ate the sandwich.