A cold reality--and a warm welcome

by Gillian Larson | posted: May 10, 2014

It wasn't easy to accept that I had to find an alternate route, especially after thinking that I had passed through the tough section once I left the southern California area and the lack of water behind me. But I found that snow was an even bigger challenge. As my mom and I drove north, her in the camper and me in my truck with the horse trailer, I kept watching the mountains, trying to find where the snow would end. But even with this current drought in California, there seems to be more snow in the high elevations than one would think, and what storms we have had arrived late (I've had three snowstorms myself in April and May!), so I have to accept the reality and move on. But options are limited, as even further north, in Oregon and Washington, the snow conditions are bound to be worse. The situation is made difficult by my desire to try to complete the trail before grad school begins at CSUN in late August, but the truth is that I simply may run out of time, and I'll have to accept that if it happens. As we drove to Carol Pauli's in Truckee, it seemed that we passed nothing but snow-covered peaks all the way through Tahoe.

When we got to Carol's, however, we were welcomed with open arms--and shots of Jack Daniels! Carol and her friend joined my mom and me in the camper after we got the horses settled, and Carol brought along a bottle and shot glasses and we sat there and talked and strategized and pored over the map. By the time the evening was over, she and the whiskey had certainly warmed my heart and soul--and body too! I'm not much of a drinker, but after having six dudes as roommates for a couple of years, I've learned a thing or two, and I can get down a shot of whiskey (or a whole lump of wasabe, especially on a bet that involves getting my sushi dinner paid for) when the situation calls for it.

The next day my mom and I were very busy, running around to a feed store in Quincy, then dropping my truck and trailer in Belden, where the PCT crosses through town, and packing up the panniers in preparation for hitting the trail again on Sunday. I'm anxious and eager to get back on the trail, feeling frustrated by the delay and the lost time. I was running about a week ahead of schedule, but that time has now slipped away from me, and I hope I can make progress again soon.


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