Day 139 – Russian wilderness

PCT day 51-The campsite I chose was exposed, cold and windy. This did not make it easy to crawl out of my sleeping bag. The moment of going from the warm inside of my katabatic quilt to the cold morning is always one of the most difficult of the day. It has become especially difficult since I have gone with iced coffee in the morning as opposed to the warm coffee I would have in the snow covered Sierra Nevadas. Cutting this out does make the process of packing up much quicker. I was on the trail early and moving as fast as my tired, cold body would carry me. Luckily the sun rose soon and I was seating before 9. I moved fast through the remainder of the Trinity Alps and into the incredible Russian wilderness. I hiked on a trail cut into the side of cliffs, wound through large burn areas and climbed up and over jagged rock. As I neared the 30 mile mark for the day and the road down into Etna I met a fellow thru hiker who went through the Sierra. I slowed down and told stories with him for a good half hour. It was strange to see another hiker who had come the whole way but the strangeness of my day was just starting. I moved passed him, across some very steep snow and would down the trail to meet a hiker who was thoroughly lost. It looked like he had his map upside down and the first thing he asked me is which was north was. I straightened him out and moved on. Shortly thereafter I met a lady all in black similar to a nun (I would later learn it was Greek Orthodox) and she had what looked like a bird in a cage on her back. I asked her if it was an owl and she replied, “no it’s a parrot and it’s probably getting too windy for him” and she pulled a cover over the cage. I met the rest of her similarly dressed group a little farther down the trail where they had a large group of dogs. My mind was blown. 50 days of near solitude and all these strange things happened in the same day. I ended the day entering the marble mountain wilderness. 

Miles 1567-1601