There is great comraderie amongst hikers of the Pacific Coast Trail, and some of it rubs off on me. I am offered food, accepted as an adventurer, and this morning meet a tall lanky red headed PCT hiker with a fluffy red beard. Both of us have permaculture yards, use photovoltaics, and don’t own cars. He finishes the conversation with “I’d better get going, I have 30 miles to hike today.”
I wish to give him an appropriate send off, and “be safe” isn’t it. So I say “Be Bold.” He grins and replies “Life is short, do epic stuff.” My heart is moved- at last, a send off I can cherish.
As I cycle I think of Mary Olivers poetry;
“What are you going to do with your one
wild and precious life?”
and know that, at least for today, both of us have answered that question richly.
I hike to Burney Falls to take pictures. I am alone there. It is lovely beyond words.
Burney Falls. Notice that there are two levels of falls. The top level cascades over the cliff, the lower layers are springs that come out from the rocks.
As I give praise and appreciation to the falls tears stream from my eyes. It is a very special place.
Later in the day, surprising me, Mt. Shasta appears. It towers above the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and I am in awe, rubber necking it at every peak.
I ride into Mt Shasta City and feel at home. My bike gets a lot of attention. I head for Weed, my final destination of the day, following Google Maps on my phone. After a half dozen miles, the road ends and becomes a trail. Oh no, not again! What to do? Well, it can’t be too far. So I continue and am soon walking as the sand is soft and Sherpa cannot be ridden in sand.
You call this a road Google? Grrrr.
I slog along for a couple miles. My phone over heats and shuts off. Great, now I’m wandering along sand paths with no guidance. Ok then, Mr. Dead Reckoning. I keep Mt. Shasta on my right and slog on. A town, even a small one, would be hard to miss, right? Sand and rocks fill my sandals. My water jug is emptied. Sherpa works hard, spinning his back wheel kicking grit. I struggle to keep Sherpa upright.
Four miles later I spot the first sign of habitation, a large blue warehouse. A path leads that way, then turns away. I leave the path and push Sherpa over rail road tracks to enter the back gate of a water bottling plant.
Phew, I made Weed.