Mornings with a view make walking easy, but mornings with many, many miles ahead of you make it a little errrrrr daunting. I had some vitamin i, and as we headed back to the trail the mountains in the horizon shone pale orange and pink. We walked for a few miles then stopped to filter water. Looking down the valley low clouds hung below Mt Shasta. It was iddilic and like something from a romance novel. Our new friend Neck Tie stopped and we gazed out on the mountain and planned to walked another 9 miles Before breakfast. We walked it, it was beautiful and then it got a bit bare and exposed. We saw heaps of people running. They didn’t have packs, they looked clean, they had the look of people who after a hard mornings exertion would get to go home and eat real food, that wasn’t beige coloured, and shower and relax. They didn’t look hardened by the summer sun, or dirty, or foot sore like us. It is a Sunday and so there were also many other day hikers, same clean and well kept look, walking dogs. We saw 10 in total, from tiny rats to large, goofy Labrador types.
At breakfast my gas and stove escaped into the stream, they rolled down the greasy bank I had sat on and I raced to rescue them. We had walked through lovely large meadows of green grass and wildflowers to ready our destination, and simultaneously completed over one third of today’s miles. The meadows continued after lunch, and it heated up. The path was stoney and my blistered ached as did the ball of my left foot, my left ankle and my left knee. 29 has hit me hard, old age has sprung itself upon my once subtle and limbre body. I wanted to push for another 11 miles before lunch, but Ollie thought it best that we only do 7. This was a wise idea. Lunch was taken under a tree, next to a fallen pine near some water with Yeti and Fly Trap. Yeti was bitten by some naughty ants and when Buther arrived he showed us a photo of a huge green rattle snake he had encountered. Somehow we had all missed it.
10 miles remained after lunch, 6 miles in we stopped again for water and then again after another 3 we quickly rested our bodies for the final 3. As I walked, head down, feet teetering me along the rocky path I had only one goal, to arrive at camp and take off my shoes. I have waves of feeling very tired and waves of feeling physically fine. Long mile days are more a mind game than anything. As I crossed the road into the car park a wonderful sight appeared before me. People, sitting in chairs, drinking cold, sweet, fizzy drinks, eating fresh fruit, laughing. I melted into the dirt, removed my shoes, took a drink, ate some cherries and relaxed. Io’s friends Emily and Geoff were there. They had come to visit her and deliver her new shoes. Trapper, a former hiker was also ha going out. We got double trail magic. Frenchie and Neck Tie were hanging around. We headed to the camp ground, built a fire, had hot dogs and I went to bed.