Our halfway day!

PCT miles 1197.6 to 1177.9– Sierra City’s Red Moose Cafe to Logging Road – Total PCT miles 1338.9

As I type this we are in our tent watching the sun set over the northern Sierra foothills. Deep purple, red, orange, gold and the deep turquoise I think of as sunset blue.

We are grateful for our tent, tonight especially. The buzz of many a mosquito hovering outside indicates it is indeed summer in the mountains. They plagued us during dinner. We ate wearing bugnets, gloves, gaiters, jackets wrapped around our waists. Must keep all skin surfaces covered. The mosquitoes sneaked under our bug nets as we ate our mashed potatoes. Gabriel is now very, VERY appreciative that Margaret of the Red Moose Cafe was able to patch the hole in his pants. One less point for a potential security breach.

We are so happy to be here in Tahoe National Forest, about 18 miles north of  Truckee and I-80. It means that we have walked more than 1,330 miles and are a little more than halfway across the distance of the PCT! Today we had snow-free ridge tops with volcanic rock outcrops, balsam root and lupine. Hillsides in all directions of purple and gold.

If what others have told us about upcoming conditions is accurate, today was our last snow-free day until we return to Ashland in a few weeks. We’ll see what the Sierra’s really have in store, conditions are changing with every hour. Each new report (a week or so outdated) recounts less of chest high creeks and the necessity of GPS. Today, marked a significant change in condition reports. We ran into Pepe Lopez, who we first met as he was hiking southbound from Mojave to Casa de Luna. Instead of asking us if we have a GPS with us, he asked if we have a map. (Thanks Pepe for the good news!) We wish Pepe well and hope to see him up north.

So July 30th is our halfway day. A little less than three months to travel 1330-some miles and we’ll strive to hike the next 1330-some miles in less than two months. It feels a little daunting when we’re uncertain of what challenges may be in store for us between here and Kearsarge Pass. But we have confidence in our ability to hike well in Oregon and Washington; so long as fire detours and snow are avoided.

Thinking of the distance still to cover, it takes discipline to live in the moment and not think too far ahead of targets and dates. A good on trail and life lesson to hone: be present but keep working toward the larger goal.

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