Day 65 June 28, 14
Drakesbad Guest Ranch to tentsite on the Hat Creek Rim
“Are you actually going to do those miles?” Mac interrogates. Why is that even a question? I want to hike a 34 and then a 37 to Burney Falls State Park to eat shitty frozen burritos, drink piss beer, and coffee. The boys want to stay in Old Station and watch a UFC fight tonight.
I haven’t slept alone since Deep Creek, well over a month ago. I need some time to sort through my head, brush away the cobwebs, summon Earth Goddesses, cast some “wolfmother wallpaper,” you know? no holds barred “it’s all in your head” meditation.
The Hat Creek Rim is indisputably hot during the day so my strategy involves doing half of it in the evening and the rest tomorrow morning. This prickly yellow hot plateau seems less threatening once the sun goes down. And you’re not alone because Lassen’s got your back and Shasta’s pulling you North.
I stop for a short break at a look out and search for cigarette butts. I want to quit smoking, so I don’t buy a pack in Old Station. A heavy set couple pulls up and gets out. They don’t acknowledge me even though I smile at them. “Ask me what I’m doing,” I think to myself. “Good God say anything. Surely they have soda in there. FUCK! I want a cigarette.”
I feel content being alone. When I am alone I don’t have to smell good, talk good, or be pretty. Surely the trees watch and listen but they don’t judge. The little gray birds look, but all they think about is how great your hair would be for nesting or how lovely your bald head would be to poop on.
Being alone gives me time to reflect on my relationship with Mac.
Mac and I have been hiking together for awhile now. We have a strong bond. We share food, take coffee breaks, and read “A Walk in the Woods” to each other before bed. We fuck against trees, under trees, and surely the trees watch and listen but they don’t judge. He kisses me just after waking up and just before closing his eyes to sleep. He tells me I’m the toughest girl he’s ever met and this makes me feel proud and desired.
“I like you and her equally,” he says one day about a girl he had met on Ok Cupid and hiked a part of the Te Araroa with. In every town he asks to borrow my cell phone so he can Skype with her and that’s when I slither into a dark cave. My eyes roll back into my head which spins around 360 degrees and I claw the walls until my fingers bleed.
And I have been stuck there for some time. How do I get out?