August 3, 2014
1463 miles total
The smoke was heavy this morning. Everything was covered in a thin dusting of ash. Remnants and reminders of a forest that once stood tall and healthy. Now all that is left is ash and the burned out carcasses of former life.
I’ve never been this close to fire. Sure I have seen fires in news stories or read about them in the paper. But to actually see how fast and destructive they can be is a whole new thing. Actually being able to smell and taste the smoke, seeing new plumes and the huge mushroom cloud grow is a crazy experience. It is a good reminder that mother nature is in charge. The only thing that continues is change. These cycles and processes are forever in motion.
With that we set out around 8 today. As we walked ash littered the trail and continued to fall as flurries throughout the morning.
Another exciting sight on the trail. More bear prints. When I stopped for second breakfast someone left a note on the dirt. Needless to say I ate quickly and continued on. But they were pretty cool to see.
The rest of the day went without much else happening. We had a great lookout where we think we could see the outline of Mt. Shasta. But the smoke obscured it. We ate lunch near a spring, the cold water cooled us as it was another warm day.
The last several miles flew by. Tonight we are camped on an old logging road near a creek. The .2 of a mile trek was well worth it for delicious creek water. Hopefully no logging trucks decide to drive down here. It doesn’t look like there has been anyone in a vehicle for a while. Others have definitely camped here too.
It’s crazy to think this adventure is nearly over. My body is starting to hurt in places it has never hurt before. My feet have this random shooting pain, and my calves feel as though I just started hiking. I think my body knows we are in the home stretch, it is ready to relax and heal. Only a few more days, and it will be time for a rest.
We can do it!