On the road to Reno and back to the PCT

Still at PCT mile 790.2

Hello from the back of a silver Toyota Tacoma on route for Ashland via Reno.

Gabriel and I woke up this morning and knew it was time to say good bye to the High Sierra Music Festival. The music, seeing Ben, the fantastic costumes, and good food have been so much fun. It’s also been a radical change from trail life.

And we are missing the trail. As Rocklocks says, “My feet just want to walk.” It’s time to get back to the trail. So early this morning we slipped out of camp and headed for the road. Thank you Ben and the “Party Harder Crew” for hosting us! Quincy, CA we’ll see you in a few hundred more miles when we make it south.

Out on the highway, we were soon picked up by Will. A surfer, who-these days-lives in Nevada. Surfer? In Nevada? (Ahh…the things we do for love.) Will’s truck has a pretty posh and comfy back bed. Gabriel and I have taken turns lounging. Right now Gabriel is driving! Something neither of us has done in over two months. A good refresher before picking up our rental car in Reno and heading up to Ashland.

Our PCT detour has involved trail magic, buses, hitching and even two trips to the Reno airport (once to catch a bus, once to pick up a car). It’s been a fair amount of logistical hassle when one wants the simple life of walking northward on a trail. But this planes, trains, and automobiles detour introduced us to some amazing people. We’ve experienced much more then our planned trail itinerary and opened us up to detours for our off-trail lives.

Update-Post Hitching

Will got us to the airport in good time after we made a detour to his house. We got to meet his family. So nice! His son was as adorable as Will said he’d be. And Will even made us two CDs for our road trip north. Amazing. Thank you Will!

Our drive north to Ashland took us along Hwy 395, up Hwy 44 through Susanville to Old Station and then to Hwy 89 and up I-5. We were covering ground we’d driven though on a past road trip to the Sierras and intersecting places on the trail that we’d be walking to in the next few weeks. So strange to drive by Burney Falls State Park and know our feet would cross over our tire tracks. Or to get a sort of preview of the Hat Creek Rim-though we still don’t know where the trail goes near there.

Again, thoughts of scale run through my mind: a few hours drive will equate to three weeks of walking.

We’re staying in Medford tonight to make it easier to drop off our rental car in the morning at the airport. Tonight were situating our packs, eating the meal we’d picked up for the Onion Valley TH and readying our maps and minds for our southward journey. It feels good to know we’ll be hiking tomorrow, back to life on the PCT, which is where we want to be right now.

As for the decision to hike from Ashland south, it makes the most sense for us. Ashland is along I-5 and is logistically easier to get to then some trail towns between here and Bishop. May our time off the trail and walk south give time for the creeks to subside in the Sierras.

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