Day 88 (July 17): Mile 1,551.9 – 1,579.0

The Many Encounters of the Trinity Alps

Beginning Elevation = 6,159
Ending Elevation = 5,800
Elevation Range = 5,400-7,400
Weather: Sunny, high 70’s

You wouldn’t believe it, but my morning started with another beaut of a sunset. This one was purplish with a big bright moon. I didn’t take a picture though, following the lead of Sean O’Connell, the LIFE Magazine photographer in the movie, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” During a very dramatic scene he says, “If I like a moment, for me, personally I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.” JK, not really, lol, I just forgot after I’d packed up to do so. But, he does make a good point, so I do usually stop before/after the picture to take in the scene.

I cruised along nicely during my morning stretch. Eventually the trail started going down and reached Highway 3. Just across, was a little primitive campground where I took my breakfast pit stop. I believe in it was called Scott Mountain Campground.

Afterwards, I treked onward and upward The next ten miles I’d be going from the low point for the day up to the high point, an elevation gain of about 2,000 feet. Not too far in, I came across a guy coming the other direction. He asked if I was headed from Canada down and I told him no, that I was headed the other direction. I followed up with, “I am headed north, right?”. He responded saying that no, I was headed south. Very curious I thought. He even got out his phone compass and showed me. Sure enough, I was going straight south…at that particular moment. When I checked Guthook’s, I found that actually a good chunk of miles of the trail loops south here before curving west and then north again. I tried to explain, but don’t think I got it a acoss to him. He was very worried that I was going the wrong way. We chatted about hunting a little afterwards since that’s why he was out there, setting trail cameras. Interesting encounter #1.

On my way up, the views out became increasingly spectacular. I entered into the Trinity Alps Wilderness and Klamath National Forest. Absolutely top-drawer! I’ll remember the name folks, I’ll remember the name.

I had an amazing lunch spot, next to a small stream, surrounded by little succulent like things and flowers, and looking out over a gorgeous valley…

I believe I have perfected not only the exact amount of peanut butter to jelly on my tortillas (3 spoonfuls of pb to 2 small jelly packets), but also the delicate way in which to spread the mixture out amongst it, covering as much surface area as possible. Finally, the whole creation must be wrapped into a spiral of goey deliciousness!. This, I believe, is the critical point.

Now here, on this particular dish, I’ve experimented by adding peanut butter M&M’s. I was shocked to find out that it did not elevate the deliciousness level, but instead I’ve concluded that both items are best when by themselves. Strange right? Feel free to try it out if you have doubts.

Also, going back to the succulents…I’m for sure going to become a succulent caretaker when back home because these little guys are rad!

The beautiful scenes kept coming to the point where I actually chuckled out loud at one point because I just felt like sure, why not come around this bend and have another new panoramic view.

Encounter #2 came soon after lunch. Talked briefly with three folks coming down who had packs full of equipment and said they were doing bat surveys for the U.S. Forest Service. Didn’t talk long, but was intrigued.

Encounter #3 was the best one and made my day! I was just walking along, like I do, in the zone listening to HP7, when I hear some voices. Usually if I hear or see people coming I take out my headphones and I did this time. Before I saw them, I had an inkling it was them, strange, but anyway there came 3 Bean and Foxtail! Woo hoo! A joyous reunion was had. We probably talked only for fifteen minutes or so, but it was great to see them and hear a bit about their adventures. They’d flipped, skipping the Sierra as well, but went to the Oregon/Washington border and have been coming south since.

Encounter #4 was my first fellow nobo (northern bound) and was another familiar face, a guy with the trail name of Elusive. I met him in the Sierra section and we crossed some streams together and such.

Encounter #5 was this…

I hope you enjoyed my unedited videography with that troublesome crumb. Thought about cutting the video short, but felt I needed to give a feel for the real thing out here. #realthruhikerlife

Encounter #6 was with the brother-sister section hiker team that I ended up camping with. I forgot there names I’m realizing as I write this, but he lived/lives in Paradise, CA. I didn’t put it together right away, but told him it sounded familiar, thinking possibly that it was a trail town. He then reminded me of the forest fire that burned last year and said his barn was burned down and two of the other four houses in his cul-de-sac. Crazy stuff.

My last encounter for the day occurred just as I was getting ready to go into my tent. Another hiker showed up and introduced himself as Viva. He started the trail in March 1, which is pretty early. He’s been hopping around a bit and had already gone up to Canada so is now covering the spots he didn’t before. He said he originally tried to do this section in May when it was absolutely covered in snow.

A full full day. And my long days were beginning to take there toll on me. I now had blisters on my feet, a small rash on my lower back where my pack had rubbed against my sweaty shirt, a rash spot on my upper thigh where my phone had rubbed inside my pocket, and a slight pain in my right shin just above the ankle. My tent too was struggling. A section of zipper broke and the plastic piece that holds my poles together has cracked. Strangely, things weren’t bad until they were. I suppose that’s how it goes.

It’s still not bad though, definitely manageable, but I’ll need to learn some balance again in regards to big miles vs trail conditions and not “force” the long distances. It felt good to have a stream to cool my feet off in and wash up before snoozing!

4 thoughts on “Day 88 (July 17): Mile 1,551.9 – 1,579.0

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