After 30 miles yesterday, my shoe has a gaping hole. I noticed it at mile 1227. Today’s trail tread is super rocky and my right foot is killing me.
I find a slice of cell reception (standing in a very particular spot on the pass) and order a new pair of shoes to be delivered to Sierra City. I feel better having made that happen, but my body and attitude are still limping. I look on my map app and see that the trail intersects with a highway rest stop. I head there, hoping I can get a hitch into town. I don’t realize that, while Sierra City is 30 miles away via the PCT, it’s over 90 minutes away by car.
I find the rest stop. The car’ed folks look at me like I’m homeless and contagious. I go into the bathroom – I look like crap. Dirty, sweat-stained, weird tan lines, super f’ed up hair do. I wash up a bit and try again for a ride. I get an orange and some advice “you should try walking. It’s only 30 miles from here”. I get back on the trail, with my foot throbbing and spirits dragging.
After five or so miles, I come upon Peter Gubb Hut. It’s maintained by the Sierra Club. My spirits brighten slightly. I roll open the heavy wood door and inside there is a large table, a wood stove, solar powered lights, and emergency supplies. Up a ladder is an attic space for at least 12 hikers. Around back is a composting toilet. I pull off my shoes and socks and rest them on the cool floor. I’m oddly excited to sit at a table and explode my pack. I make double dinner, eat a pack of crackers, a chocolate bar and drink some EmergenC. I hoist my sleeping gear upstairs.
When I wake, I look at the now sun-filled room. There is a torn closed-cell sleeping pad tossed in the corner. I take one of the torn pieces and cut out a new inner sole for my holey shoe. Hopefully this will take me to Sierra City.
The trail today is less rocky and my ad hoc shoe repair seems to be holding up. I make it to Sierra City by early evening. V, Namaste, Bugs, Cree, Happy Feet, Pac Man, Far Out, Gizmo and Dirt Nap are there. Some people are camping behind the church and the rest are behind Red Moose Inn. I choose the flatter space behind the Inn.
V and I eat Polynesian chicken drumsticks outside of the bar. The air is a perfect summer temperature. After dinner, I walk around tiny Sierra City (pop. 225). There is a business that will give you gold panning instructions and a delicious spring runs through the town.