So I thought afternoon thunder showers come in the afternoon? In Plumas County, thunder and lightning start just after 10am. Yep, and they last till sunset! Nevertheless, I am wet and may have the beginning onset of the Oregon blues. And to think I haven’t made it out of California yet! But sunnier days are on the horizon.
I spent the Fourth of July with family and friends in Truckee. It was so nice being with everyone but most difficult to leave. All I could think about was I could walk home in a couple of days or head back on the trail for another two months?!? I’m not sure who was more upset, my grandson Sid who asked me why I was leaving for another 100 days (which in fact was only 79 days and a wake-up) or my husband who explained the first week or two was like a vacation but five months, that’s much too long or my best friend who was hiding her tears behind her big dark glasses! We all hugged and I took another step closer to Canada.
This has been the toughest week. Not physically but more mentally. I believe I am the strongest I have been since I left the academy some thirty years ago. However the trail is thinning out. The thru-hikers are slowly dwindling down to the ones who truly have something special that keeps them motivated! I have God who hasn’t given me the pass to go home yet. I truly feel that he still has work for me to do out here.
From Truckee to Sierra City I saw six other thru-hikers over 42 miles. There were earlier days where I would hike with 20-25 others. I was feeling a bit lonely and constantly asking myself if I needed to continue? I headed into Sierra City for a burger and fries and met the cutest 80 year old couple sitting on their front porch. They live on Main Street with an awesome view of the Sierra Buttes. They invited me back for morning coffee and a ride to the trail. So with their prompting and Gods grace, I headed back up and I mean up, the trail. 4000 feet and tons of switchbacks! What a beautiful view from up above. God has a way of waking me up by having me climb his magnificent mountains and knowing he created this all for us!
As I hiked the trail meditating on his word, my journey became more of a walk in faith and knowledge of who God truly is. To think that we could not bare to stand in his presence, that he is so great and mighty and that no man has ever seen his face. To think we can have a relationship with God, one that he desires more than we can fathom. The fact that he knows every thought we have, even the ones we don’t speak! There is nothing he doesn’t know about us, and there is nothing too big for him to handle! So when I was feeling down and not sure why I was still out here, my God brought me a wise woman to minister to me!
It had been raining most of the day and I was feeling weary. I also had miscalculated my water needs and was dry with no water ahead for another three to four miles. I crossed LaPorte-Quincy Road and saw a forest service truck parked. I thought, hmmm they should have water. Sure enough, the Battalion Chief exited her truck, provided me water, emptied my trash and provided me what she promised was the best MRE’s the government provides, spicy penne pasta with vegetarian meatballs! I was a bit skeptical but my fuel was low and so I gave it a try. I shared with her my ministry on the trail and then she witnessed to me about her God fearing faith and love of Christ. It was exactly the encouragement I needed to carry on. Thank you Jesus for loving me and sending your earthly angel!
The following days were filled with trials and tribulations but somehow there was a mixture of peace sprinkled in the midst. It would rain most of the day but as I set up my tent, the skies would clear just long enough for me to get inside before the rain came back. As I hiked down the trail, I had a wasp that must have thought I was a flower, hard to believe if you could smell me! He decided to place his nasty stinger in me and ouch, I did what any good hiker would do and smack him silly! Then as my ankle hit a rock and began to roll (job ending for a thru-hiker), So I I jammed my carbon fiber pole down, and that darn thing snapped in half! Seriously, what else? But as I made it to Feather River bridge, I found a letter addressed to me from a hometown friend Marilyn who just so happened to be hiking the trail. Enclosed was a super sized payday bar! So needless to say I gobbled that up and proceeded to have a much better day! As I made it to camp, God painted me the perfect pink and purple sunset and sprinkled the sky with a stars, something I hadn’t seen all week!
I made it to Bucks Lake, a bit off course but I truly needed to dry out and warm up! This has been an overwhelming yet incredible week. I have learned so much these past days but my number one lesson learned is all I truly need is God! When everything goes unplanned, when all my earthly hiking buddies leave the trail, I still have Jesus walking with me every step of the way. He will never leave, never forsake me, in the rain, thunder and lightning, he is always there! I truly have my very best friend still trekking along and he plans on making it to Canada and beyond! So I am in it for the long haul, feast or famine, rain or shine, thirsty or both, we are in this together. Thank goodness, because I’m not sure that I could make this journey solo!
Advise from a Trail by Ilan Shamin: Walk in beauty, stay on your path. Find inspiration around every turn. Tread lightly. Pack life with good memories. Every day has its ups and downs so watch your step.
2 thoughts on “Truckee to Bucks Lake”
Kelly! The way you share your journey through your camera lens and through spiritual eyes seeing and appreciating God at every turn is really inspiring.I feel uplifted every time I read one of your posts.
Its been quite the journey both physically and spiritually! But right now I’m snoozing under a perfect spruce tree getting out of the heat on Hat Rim! Oh boy, I feel like I’m back in the desert! But our God gave me a super nice place to rest!