Day 37

Mileage: 30.6
Total distance: 1079

I stayed up late last night laughing with petunia and slept harder than I have so far. I woke up with drool on my pad twice and when I got out of my bug net to stretch I felt so refreshed and energized like I had slept for years. I was late to the breakfast party and walked over to find a man named Chipmunk serving a huge breakfast with eggs, chili, cereal, bananas, toast and coffee. I ate a ridiculous amount of food and sat until 8 am talking with the two of them when finally petunia and I decided to get a move on. 

The first ten miles we talked non stop about John Muir and society and politics and all sorts of topics that stimulated my brain and made miles pass like a breeze. We took our first break on a fallen tree in the shade and the energy stayed high as we kept on moving. 

We came to a road about seventeen miles in at the start of a decent climb and sat down by a creek that flowed beneath it for our second break. We sat and laughed at what we have become and the ways we have begun to entertain ourselves while we hike. Petunia will sometimes scat or spend time thinking of the future to pass the hours. He also likes to sit next to roads because watching the cars go by is a form of entertainment. We both died laughing when we realized we had been watching an ant crawl on his bare feet and eating the dirt and dead bugs that have adhered to his skin. We realized how insane we’ve become when a dead mosquito fell off his foot and too replace it I just pulled one of the millions caked onto make skin and dropped it on his foot for the ant to eat. You don’t come by friends like this every day. We are losing our minds together and it is absolutely incredible. 

The last few miles were tough with a two mile climb up and over a ridge with some snowy sections, but eventually we summited and overlooked the fields of lambs ear with their yellow flowers beaming under the sun. 

We got to a road we were told had “fizzy” drinks and were disappointed to show up empty handed, but were redeemed when a hiker got back on trail from resupplying in town and gave us his ginger ale and a ton of info about Tahoe for the morning. We took our information and finished petunias first 30 mile day by eight while walking down our last hill. The end of the day is dessert. You spend all your energy hiking hard and working your body all day long and then around 7:30 the golden hour hits and the world becomes breath taking. Everything looks perfect and the contrast and colors seem painted by God itself. This is the treat of the work you’ve put into the day and the harder you work the more you get from this hour. 

As we got into camp the ridge line behind us stood with reds and orange bleaching its bluffs and we built a fire to keep away the mosquitos. We sat for a while and talked until we both took that daily moment to remind ourselves where we are and to get all we can mentally from what we are experiencing. We took a moment to look at the ridge and the snowy pockets tucked away in their cracks and reviled in the beauty of what stood before us. It’s so nice to share moments like that with someone else and to connect with someone else on so many levels while pushing yourself in ways you never have before. Tomorrow we wake up to hike an easy 12 miles into Tahoe to see what the city may bring us. We are joined now by Oolong, a middle aged, respectable and kind man and the three of us are in our tents ready to fall asleep to the Truckee River softly running behind us with the stars sparkling above. 

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