The fog rested heavy on
“So, how far will this be?” I glanced at Sarah in the rearview mirror.
“Um, I’m not really sure. I found a site on the internet that said it was 23 miles.”
The day’s plan consisted of running the Pacific Crest Trail between
Sarah leaned up from the backseat and slipped a CD into the player.
“We have all these maps of the Sierra,” Camille explained to me, “but this area sort of falls into a black hole. None of our maps cover it.”
I apologized for not even thinking to look at my well-worn guidebook. So much for advance planning!
The growing tones of the music elicited a smile when I recognized the beginning of Where the Streets Have no Name.
“Joshua Tree,” I nodded in approval. “Nice choice.” Quite possibly the best album of all time, and I hadn’t listened to it in years.
“It’s a classic,” Camille agreed.
And we let the music, and the joy of impending adventure, carry us the remaining 90 minutes to the trailhead.
Almost from the very beginning we were stunned by the views. We spent the day with our mouths hanging open, for around every corner and over each peak there was something newly spectacular to see. I, of course, took a ridiculous amount of pictures.
Conversation oscillated between plans for Camille’s upcoming wedding, and the standard runner discussions of bodily functions. It’s pretty awesome to have girlfriends with whom you can discuss both frilly dresses and poop. Seriously, these things should not be underrated.
The peaks were mostly volcanic, and as such often loomed rather surreal. Once in a while we whipped out the map to try to identify some of the surrounding peaks by name. We had a recurring and ardent debate over which landscape feature could be the one designated as “The Nipple” by the map. It seemed a rather obnoxious name, until we looked around in utter amusement and realized that at least a dozen peaks could qualify for that description.
There were plenty of lakes and spring-fed creeks, so even in August finding water was no problem. Wildflowers were abundant, and as we neared Ebbetts pass, the surroundings took on an almost other-worldly quality. Certainly there must have been some Sci-Fi movies filmed there, because it felt like another planet.
We reached Highway 4 exhausted and happy, still unsure of our total distance for the day. (The PCT guidebook later confirmed it as 28.8.)
The drive back to
Three stinky, dirty women piled into his clean rental car, and he drove us all the way back to my car, even though half of it was the wrong direction. Thanks Neil!