21.8 miles (Mile 1228.7 – 1250.5)
PCT Mile 1228.7 – Feather River
Well, I had an off-day, which is kind of a way of saying a bad day, only I can’t consider any day out here a bad one. There are just too many wonderful things around to let anything seem “bad.” I’ve already decided there are things I just need to let go of with the understanding that they are what they are, and it’s okay.
My biggest frustration today dealt with technology. I made a mistake in our last town stop – I thought that I charged both of my spare phone batteries, but it turns out I only charged one. When my battery went today, I went to put a new one in and it told me it was at 2%. My camera won’t even work under 5%. Crap.
Tears was kind enough to let me try her solar charger, so all morning, I had my external charger hooked up to it. Three hours later I realized the solar charger didn’t have enough output to work with my external charger. I then hooked it to my phone, but it wasn’t charging because I didn’t have enough sunlight. At our long lunch break, I set it directly in the sun and tucked the phone underneath to keep it cool, and when I checked on it, it wasn’t charging because it got too hot. Sigh… As we started walking, I hooked it up to my phone again, but with the shady forest we were walking through, the charger was turning on and off, and my phone was blinking a low-battery warning. It actually went down 2% because of that. Finally at camp, I chased the last minutes of sunlight and weaseled out 10% more. I’m hoping this will last all day tomorrow, and hopefully Tears will let me use it again later. She’s got to charge her phone, too. I might be buying more batteries. I really don’t want to run out of juice out here…
Sorry for that long explanation! I was fully intending to do hourly trail shots today like I did on day 64, but with all the battery-switching and phone/camera woes, I decided to wait until another day when technology is more on my side. I still was able to sneak out some photos for today, though, so I can’t be too bummed out.
We also had some heat to fight today. It got above 90º, and water seemed scarce. That or we just weren’t seeing it. At one point we were going to take a break at a spring, but it was more than 1/4 of a mile off-trail, and the area was confusing. I had enough to get to the next water, but after checking her bladder, Tears realized she was running low. We had to move on. It was kind of a tense moment. It’s not really fun when you’re in heat like that with little water.
We made it to our next spring, which was well-signed and only 500 feet off-trail. It was straight downhill but we didn’t care. We trucked down, cameled up, trucked back up and plopped down in the shade for a mood-boosting hour and a half siesta. Food and hydration made my nauseous tummy from the heat feel way better.
I enjoyed the strolls through the forests today, and we had a lot of shade. Every once in a while we got a peek through the trees of the hill on the other side of the valley – it looked like a wall of pine trees way off in the distance, their green color looking a bluish-tone in the haze of distance.
We made it to Feather River and stopped. It was only 5:30, but that gave us time to rinse out some clothes, and I went for a fabulous swim! The water felt great, it wasn’t too cold, and I even got to wash my hair and redo my braids. It’s been really dusty out here, so washing the thick, black layer of grime off my legs was a definite bonus, too.
Tomorrow will be a better day. I’m going to keep working on a quiet mind… something I wanted to work on when I first planned this trip – calm, centered, prayerful… and just me. I just hope my darn batteries hold out.
Tonight I love rivers. I was once asked the simple question, “lake, river or ocean?” River was my answer… it will be every time. I also love rivers tonight because the constantly-moving, humming water of that Feather River behind those trees blessed me with the best part of my day.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!