Im awake early , the first light is breaking through the trees . I love the deep humus of trees . The earthy pine needle decay . Its heady .I hurry with the tent , as the midges are having breakfast too , and its me who is on the menu .
I hit the path , and make my way upward along a gently assending slope . The path must have just been cleaned up , as some of the rake and saw work is still fresh . Its a joy to walk on this after the chaos of fallen trees and snow drifts that dogged me the last few days . I wonder to myself what it must be like to be a Park Warden or Ranger , someone who’s office is out here , who walks these paths for a living . Who tends them .
Ive been walking few hours when i come out of the forest and up close to mount Shasta , its a dramatic change to see it so close up , and I revel in the image of it . It speaks loud of the Earths power , that molten core that lies down at the heart of it all . I think of my own potential and the energy that lies within us all at the heart . Is it true that our very being is a reflection of the biosphere that birthed us ? If so , what part of your being would be kin to the volcanoe ?
I come around a corner , and there is a fella with a couple of digging tools . I realise he is involved in trail maintenance . We talk easily about the trail , my journey and his part in the PCT . I express my deep grattitude to him and all the others doing this work as I leave to continue my walk . Turns out I got to thank a whole lot more of them throughout the day . I bump into Ryan and Mike and a man called John Lion , who work together as ‘Lions pride’ volunteering countless hours to upkeep this section of path at a standard that is unquestionably the highest ive experinced since starting this walk 900miles ago . I offer them all my thanks , and as we talk it transpires that this could be Johns last year wrangling the volunteers together .I hope he is replaced by someone who can match his dedication . He has done a stunning job . Many thanks .
I hike on into my day . Lunch time offers an encounter with a juniour rattlesnake . I click off a few pictures , and realise that this kind of thing has become the everyday for me now . Its not boring , dont get me wrong , its just that i dont get overly excited by it .
By the afternoon Im down at the creek , a beautiful overgrown river that is teeming with moss and a higgledy piggledy of boulders . Its been a long hot walk again , up in the 100’s , so i stop to swim .
Later I see two hikers heading North (NoBos) . ‘Sweet Virginia’ and ‘Instigator’ . We swap trail knowledge , and im grateful for the share . It makes me onward journey so much safer when im forwarned of possible detours .
I knock out another few miles into the afternoon , and camp high in the trees . The mozzys have been waiting for me sharpening their fangs . I look like a ‘prize pudding’ as i curse and wrestle with my tent . I have to walk laps around the camp whilst i cook , as its harder for them to hit a moving target.
Its my birthday tommorow .
More mosqitos .