Day 110: Camping With the Cars

It’s probably really easy to have an overly-romantic view of what days out here must be like. Obviously, if you’ve been following this blog, you know that there’s an awful lot of difficult hiking involved (duh), but that’s not what I’m talking about. What do I see when I look out of the tent this evening? A beautiful sunset, nestled among trees…and a parking lot.

We’ve walked behind junkyards, threaded our way between enormous piles of gravel for road construction, passed backyards with cars up on blocks, and camped in places that could only be praised for their utilitarian practicality, never their beauty. Sometimes we’ve walked past streams with water rendered undrinkable from firefighting chemicals. While there is an awful lot of beauty out here, it’s not always natural or beautiful. You do what you need to do — tonight, we’re camped next to a parking lot because it’s the only place to camp for five miles in either direction, and this is where our day needed to end given our mileage goals.

We continue to hike along, heading for our next stop of Etna, California in a few more days. What can I say about this hike that hasn’t already been said? There are beautiful views, pleasant forests to hike through, hot ascents and (blessedly) cloudy weather. I imagine eventually more stuff will actually happen to us…but, for now, there simply isn’t much to say. We’ll pick up tomorrow morning and do more of it, too.

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