I watched the others leave this morning, all 12 of them pack away their things and hike out. I wanted to be walking with the pack and was sad to see their smiling faces leave. I made coffee, caught up on some writing, warmed my coffee up, ate a bar and then Ollie arrived. Hot, tired and aching. He had walked till 9 last night, slept under the Milky Way, enjoyed some solo time and completed the climb this morning. While he ate breakfast I packed my things. Ollie and I are coming toward the end of our time hiking together. I’m leaving trail for a bit in mid August, and his father is coming to do some miles with him soon enough. The trail gifts you people and then you move on, maybe to be solo or maybe to find new friends. Harriet and Phoebe are leaving to hike out from Ashland today so hopefully we catch them soonish.
We hiked for 9.4 miles through pretty landscapes, stopping briefly in a shaded camp spot. More pines and sloping meadows of wildflowers. At our destined lunch spot we couldn’t find the water source listed on Guthooks. Mud Spring doesn’t exist. We searched for quite some time and eventually and disappointedly walked on another 3 miles before we could truly take a break. Ollie was exhausted. It was mid afternoon, and we look a long break until I ventured off at 5.30 to do the final 4 miles. Again it was pretty, the range led us round so we could see mt Shasta again. There is a fire nearby and it was quite hazey as a result. As I walked along the evening shadows cast themselves across a Meadow covered in yellow wildflowers, the grass and soil underneath where orange and green, the horizon pink and blue. It was so beautiful and magic I perched myself on a rock and took some time to contemplate things and wonder why I’ve been feeling a bit bummed on the trail. Ollie turned up and together we opened our shakras to Mt Shasta, and laughed until tears streamed down my face. I can feel my spirits lifting as walking becomes pain free once again.