Day 38 - bIrd spRing pass to walker pass
May 4 | Miles 630.8 - 651.3
Today, we officially finished the Desert.
650 miles down and just 2000 more to go.
Today was also the day we made a choice: we opted to get off at Walker Pass and not head into the Sierra, which is currently covered in who knows how many feet of snow and bound to get multiple more dumpings before the end of May. It’s just not safe, and we want to enjoy it when we go through. Instead we’ll flip up to Ashland, Oregon, just north of the California border, and hike southbound so we hit the Sierra in a month or so when it’s slightly more navigable. It’s a tough choice to have to get off trail and interrupt the continuous footpath, but it makes the most sense in terms of safety, efficiency, and frankly, fun. To be honest, having to wake up at 2AM every morning and stuff my feet into frozen shoes and socks in order to hike on the snow while it’s hard sounds like a little more misery than I’m game for.
With our plan in mind, I set out early, before 6, and watched the sun rise as I tackled an early morning climb, the last one for a while.
The rest of the day was easy and sunny. My feet were feeling it, though, and I was already looking forward to a few days off by the time I stopped for lunch.
We rolled up to Walker Pass campground around 2 and enjoyed a dirt nap as the wind ripped through the trees, sending one guy’s sleeping pad flying 50 feet up in the air. Not in Kansas anymore.
A few short hours later, the beater Pontiac sputtered up to our little patch of dirt and out stepped Paiute Mama. The five of us piled into her car for the 30 mile drive to her place, sitting on top of each other and our packs as the cherries on top. The next half hour involved some hairy 90° turns and aggressive passing on a two-lane highway as we clung to the ceiling and doors, her vape smoke clouding the car.
At last, we miraculously arrived at her single-wide in the town of Weldon. Stache the Wolfhound-Pittie mix was the official greeter.
We enjoyed a dip in her pool, laundry, showers, and a BBQ chicken and salad dinner all courtesy of her incredible generosity.
Neighbors strolled in and out all day long, some shouting greetings at Mama from neighboring trailers and asking what time dinner would be. As it got dark we built a fire and sat around cooking up our travel plans, which somehow came to involve a trip through Vegas. About to have ourselves a little Spring Break.