Another patch then . Number 8 in a series of 10 . This one is from Peru , an image from the Nazca lines ,the huge and mysterious earth art that remains for us to quibble about . Are they messages to outer space ? Are they places of worship ? Are they just fakes , painted by Banksy? Who knows , looks good on me pants though . Eight legs .. Get it ?
What a day ! What a criminaly perfect day ! Last night though , a totaly different kettle of fish . Turns out the little campsite we stayed at , is actualy a makeshift dormitory facility for the local miners , who are working shifts . Their trucks drove in and out all through the night . At half past eleven one of the men decided it was time to clean his car , and to top it off he had a goat , no word of a lie , that badly needed milking and bleeted all through the night . By criminy i was T’off .
Still , by this morning im almost through my grump , and I go back to the Seiad Valley Cafe for breakfast . A warmer welcome you will not find on the PCT . Its also the home to the 5lb pancake challenge . Where any PCT hiker who eats 5lb of pancakes gets away without paying the bill . I didnt attempt this collosal feet of glutony , as i remember only to well what happened when Kevin Armstrong challenged me to eat 22 fried eggs for breakfast one morning at prep school . Lets not go there shall we .
Gus and I have a ‘well sorted chin wag’ on the road to the trail head . ( we are working on cultural exchange , in my attempt to better learn the ‘American way’. At the moment it seems to involve a lot of ketchup and fries .But Gus is gallantly letting me teach him English . )
The walking is so easy this morning , we cut parralel to a rambling ribboning river . Its soothing to be in the company of flowing water again. Its fresh green sparkle . Its strewn boulders . Its constant rummble .
We walk ten miles in a few hours and stop ,for a break ,at a fork . Im sitting with my pant legs rolled up Tom Sawyer style and watching a grass snake just a foot away from me . Two shiney black lizards skitter across the logs in front of us , and the river rolls on .
We pass ‘Peanut’and ‘Pickle’ who i last saw over a month ago . Its grand to see familar faces on the trail , and it transpires that we have taken the same circtruitus route that they have ,to avoid the snows of the high sierras .
I keep on upwards . There is only a few miles left untill we reach Buck Horn Springs, and i have a rythm going . I find myself contenplating the river . The healing power of water . I see that when we emerse ourselves it not only cleanses us , but also takes away our aches and pains . The river is in constant motion , its pathway never fixed . It is continualy carving out new ground , changing its flow and depth . The river knows it is a mystery . I feel that the river is feminin whilst the path seems to me more masculine . They compliment each other of course in metaphore , and have much in common , but today ,as im perspiring like a pig out of mud ,climbing this flippin great mountain , I see clearly the treasures of the river .
Im coming into Buck Horn spring , and the pastures here at the summit come as a dazzling contrast to my day. The days hike has been within the company,shelter and shade of trees . Now im thrust out into the light. Amongst the brightness the views are timeless , misty blue ranges as far as the eye can see .
I wander a hundred yards to fill my water bottle . The spring is pure , ice cold and fresh . In these days of plastic bottled water , its a thrill to drink straight from the font. I quench my thirst . Its been a long hot day. It tastes like clouds .
We make camp under a three forked tree. It is a very special place .
Later I climb up the rocks behind my tent to write this blog as the sun sets over the blue mountains . Perfect end to a perfect day .
Blessings on the water in your life .