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Returning to the trail! 
I'm all set to fly back to continue the PCT. If all goes according to plan, I could be hiking again this Saturday, August 6. I will need to maintain a good pace in order to finish Northern CA, OR, WA and the Sierra's by October (a good deadline for weather related reasons). That should sound like a lot (1600 miles) and yet, to me, it seems so small. I am dumbly optimistic and naively hopeful that I can complete the PCT this year. :)

On a related note, the household (and storage unit) relocation from DC (and NY) to Delaware is complete we are mostly unpacked and settled in.

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Taking a break 
On Thursday, July 7, I hopped a Greyhound bus from Weed, CA to Oakland, CA. On Friday I flew home. On Sunday, when my wife returned from a weekend away with relatives, I was there to surprise her.

I didn't want to spoil to surprise by blogging about it, so I had to keep all of you in the dark on my plans too. :)

I am home for a few weeks in order to facilitate a household relocation up to Delaware. After getting us moved and settled-in a little bit, I'll head back to the trail. It sounds like at least Wrong Turn (a hiker I know from Southern California) will be right there when I get back, so perhaps I'll have a mini reunion!

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1050 Miles! 
If you're keeping count, I hike 702 miles in Southern California, jumped to Truckee, CA, and as of this moment I have hiked 350 miles from there! That's 1050 miles! Cha-ching!

The last few days have been trying. For about 3 miles I had patchy snow and hillsides gushing with water, followed by a 5-6 mile ridge walk completely covered in snow. GPS came in handy again, and the crampons were adorned to help with some tricky side-slopes. After the snow, the sun and the trail really heated up. The volcanic rock soaks up the heat of a full sun and radiates it back - baking me from the top and the bottom. The foliage was lush with green ferns, poison oak, and a dozen new plants - creating a virtual sauna that was difficult to breath at times (I don't do well in high humidity).

Mount Shasta, the city, sits beneath Mount Shasta, the mountain. It's a giant, beast of a mountain looming over the town and still covered in snow. I think the spirit of the mountain manifests itself in the local grocery store deli counter where I just had the most delicious wrap I have ever had. Yes, Andrea, possibly better than that wrap we had in Hawaii. Maybe the high elevation (or hunger) enhances my taste buds, cuz I swear this is the best white hot chocolate I've had too. Hrm, maybe I should give mushrooms another try while I'm here.

Anyway, I've been crossing paths with more hikers lately (one outside Lassen, two outside of Burney) so it's starting to get crowded. :)

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