July 5, 2017
Sierra City – Mile 1203.48 (1195.42-1203.48)
The bed in our cabin last night was probably the comfiest bed we’ve slept in all trail, so we obviously stayed in it as long as possible this morning. I ate a breakfast of oreos, peanut butter, and coffee in bed (#health) before finally getting up to go up to the reception area and do some last minute internet things. Before we left, I had to go down to the river to submerge my neoair and figure out where it had sprung a leak. At our last campsite, I woke up to find myself on the ground again after it had deflated, and was planning to stick it in the tub once we got to our room, but there was no tub, so the river it was. Luckily, it quickly became clear where the hole was and I was able to patch it up.
*Spoiler alert: this is what awaited us back on the trail*
Once we had finally packed up all of our stuff and left the cabin, we walked back up to the main area of town to loiter around the general store some more. I got some onion rings for lunch, and the process of ordering them, paying for them, and actually getting them seemed to take all afternoon. They were really good though. I had to go pick up my resupply box from the post office after lunch, an activity I was dreading because I knew it contained a metric fuck ton of food that was going to weigh a ridiculous amount and probably not even fit in my pack. Since we’re not sure what the conditions will be like in the next section, we’ve planned for 7 days to our next town, which is the most food we’ve ever carried at once. The box was huge and heavy, but after much finagling I was able to squish everything into my food bag.
Finally, it was time to leave town and get back on the trail. Cougar and Dr. McDirty left a bit before us, so Gummies and I started walking slowly up the road out of town with our thumbs out. Again, we didn’t get too far before a guy pulled over to give us a ride, and we were back at the trailhead. Of course, the trail started off with an 8-mile section of straight uphill into the Sierra Buttes, where we ascended something like 3000 vertical feet. The first bit was comprised of endless switchbacks through the forest, so I listened to some podcasts and crushed it uphill as best I could.
When we finally emerged from the trees, we were treated to some amazing views of the Sierra Buttes. It was incredibly beautiful. Some grey clouds were rolling in, and cast the mountains in a gorgeous light. We climbed and climbed and climbed, winding all around the hillside. Eventually, we reached the top of the climb and the trail began to level out, and we found a little flat patch of ground to wedge the tent into. It was a pretty cool campsite, with views of the Buttes and the almost full moon. After dinner, we sat on the ridge top and watched the sun go down. It’s those kind of moments that make me feel so grateful to be out here, living in these wild spaces. It just feels like this is where I belong. Climbing into bed in my little tent in the mountains at the end of the day just feels right. The stresses of being in town are washed away by the cool mountain breeze, and life is simple and good once more.