Thursday, June 17, 2010

Back to California

Day 65-June 17th
Destination: Bearground Springs
Miles: 21

Today was virtually all snow. Last night when we set up camp, we almost went further, but decided against that decision. It was a wise decision, because the first several miles offered no good camping, and really only offered snow and lessons in navigation.

We slept later than normal as the sky around us was a dense fog cloud when we first woke. As the morning progressed, the sun rose and burned off the fog. About the time the sun hit our tent, we were packed up and moving. Immediately we were on snow and the trail disappeared. Yet, unlike in the Sierras, where we had footprints to follow, there were none here.

We looked over the map and developed a plan of attack. We followed the area of the trail, losing it often in the dense trees. Eventually we decided it would be easier to follow a road than a trail, as the cutback vegetation would help us keep on track. We skipped uphill to a road and used it, even though it was all snow covered as well.

This was the pattern for the day: follow the trail, lose the trail, follow what we thought was the trail, jump over to a road and follow it. Constantly navigating along the way. Fortunately, Psycho's parents gave him a GPS as an early birthday present for the trail. Without it, both of us would have been inclined to turn back, and let the snow melt for another week.

At one point on the road walking, Apricots fell and slid down the hill. When Psycho turned around to check on her progress, she was gone. He called out to her, and she responded that she was okay, a tree stopped her fall. When Psycho backtracked to her, he too fell, but slid to a stop on a flat spot. We brushed ourselves off and carried on, trudging through the snow.

Late in the afternoon, we crossed the Oregon-California border, marked with a small wooden sign. We are heading southbound from Ashland, OR, so now we have re-entered California with hopes of finishing the state in early August.

Five miles after entering California, we set up camp next to a spring. The brush around the spring is tall and leafless. The thousands of twigs knotted in every direction makes the collective look like a dense dark fog rolling down the hill. We watched the sky dim over Mt. Shasta, as the sun set during our dinner.

Tomorrow we climb again to 7000 feet, and likely will encounter more snow navigation. The register at the border indicates a few people ahead of us, most by a week. So, aside from the two section hikers we passed today, the trail is still very isolated.
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  1. So good when I checked this today at 1:10pm Mountain Time and found your new posting. It is just plain good to see you all are okay. Sounds a bit harrowing for you both. Glad you have the GPS and each other.

    Journey on with blessings of safety...always

  2. I'm a little confused about your path on the trail.. So you crossed into Oregon, then went back into California, and plan on going back to that section in August? I just imagined you guys continuing North. I'll check the blog for details about your course!

  3. we're a little confused about our path on the trail too....

    it pushes us around, and we follow it's will.