Being Steve’s PCT support team of one, means I have quite a bit of time on my hands. Another hiker asked me what I do and my first thought was that I wait. Then I thought how lame that is, so I’ve determined to make this adventure more than about waiting, even though that’s part of it. Noelle here, by the way.
On days when I see Steve, I really enjoy hiking out towards him. I especially like it when it’s a downhill for him and an uphill for me. I know that sounds crazy, since the uphills hate me or I hate them or maybe a little of both. But what I like about it is that I can take my time going up, stopping to catch my breath whenever I need to. Then once I see Steve, I can actually keep up with him on the downhill back to Cupcake. If it were the other way around, there’s no way I can keep up.
So far, I’ve only gone about a mile and a half out, for three-mile roundtrips. That seems like a good amount for me without Steve thinking he’s “almost at the truck” when really I’ve traveled four miles out. I did that a few times in 2019 and it sort of seemed like he was a bit disappointed that he still had so far to go after seeing me. It’s always the best part of the hike for me, when he comes around a bend and I see his huge smile.
Seems like I did a lot more day-hiking in 2019 than I’m doing now. I’m not sure why, but my legs feel heavy as though they’re full of lead. And my chest feels heavy, a lot. I think it’s the combination of being at a higher elevation as well as being too heavy. I’ve lost 11 pounds so far though, so that’s encouraging. Anyway, I felt a bit more adventurous in 2019, with McKenzie Pass in Oregon being one of my favorite areas.
As the PCT support team of one, I do have some tasks along the way. I’d prepped a lot of backpacking meals before we started and we sent some to Sierra City General Store (which I’ve since picked up). Then we gave some to our friend Mark. The original plan was for Mark to mail them to us along the trail, but since I changed the original plan, he mailed them to us at our friends’ home. John and Donna keep taking me in when I’m tired from hiking or tired of hiking… Between Mark, Claire, John & Donna, I just feel so dang grateful.
So anyway, that’s a lot of words to say there’s quite a bit of food already prepped. We’ll have to restock along the way, but it’s easy since I’m mobile.
So I do most of the grocery shopping while Steve is hiking. I also do a lot of reading and some hiking. I’m not really into visiting towns by myself, but I do occasionally stop when something catches my eye. Today I’m in Bridgeport. Steve hiked out of Sonora Pass a few days ago and I’ll see him again in two or three more days.
Cupcake’s house batteries died, it was a slow painful death, but I called Napa in Bridgeport and Josie ordered me a couple new ones. I spent some time on the phone with the service guy where we bought the camper, I spent some time in a FB Artic Fox Group, where people kindly told me what may be wrong. They were right. I did some homework in the group about new batteries, ran it past the service guy and placed my order.
Today Miss Josie, who has owned Napa for many years, called John to come over and put the new batteries in for me. He also happens to be a deputy here in town, so I asked about stealth camping across from the library. He said sure, that’d be fine and very safe too! Turns out the library is next door to the sheriff’s department. Yay! Anyway, if you’re ever in the Sierra Mountains and need any kind of car part, I highly recommend Bridgeport Napa. Pretty dang amazing people here!
I don’t know if all of that has much to do with being Steve’s PCT support team of one, but it’s where I’m at. After this stop, he’s going to keep getting more remote and the trail will continue being a series of climbs and descents. I think today he was around 3500 feet up and maybe 3000 feet down. It’s beast mode!
Feeling excited for him and nervous for him and a little worried about the smoke that’s begun poring in again. It’s heavy smoke now and my nose stays full of bloody boogers. Is that gross or what? Anyway, hopefully he’s enjoying this self-inflicted torture. At least occasionally!
(Wait until they figure out that I put ghost pepper flakes into the dried food bags and resealed them. That’ll get them moving!)