Long trails started in the spring display some commonalities. There is the rush of being out in the wilderness again, which can make hundreds of miles feel nearly effortless. There is the wintry weather, especially at altitude, and I had that around Mount Baden Powell this time. There is the coming together and breaking apart of groups, pronounced this year because of the harsh conditions in the Sierras. Then there comes a time, deep into the hike, when you have surmounted the challenges, the land is green and awash with life, and the summer stretches out and out before you.
It’s a kind of hiking bliss, and I’m in it right now.
I’ve made it into Oregon, which has been spectacular and varied, much like California before it. There are many volcanic formations in the state, which often gives the scenery an extraterrestrial aspect. The burnt trees, victims of forest fires, add to this. There are also countless lakes and ponds, making for picturesque viewing, but also hatcheries for legions of mosquitos. I’ve had to dodge and flee them, in between admiring the scenery.
Crucial to my efforts has been my mosquito head net. It took some getting used to – a few nights ago I brushed my teeth quickly then replaced my head net as I swilled out my mouth. Something else distracted me and when it came time to spit I spat right into the head net – toothpaste everywhere but fortunately no witnesses!!
I’ve largely managed to avoid getting bitten, so far. Southbound hikers say that the mosquitos dwindle towards Washington, and I’m looking forward to that.
As I enjoy find my hiking bliss and enjoy the fruits of the Northern summer in the mountains, I keep the deprivations of the struggling, suffering people of our beloved Zimbabwe ever close in my heart hoping that what I am doing might lead people to give to ZANE.
Please find it in your heart to donate whatever you can to ZANE so that the important work of helping the most vulnerable Zimbabweans can be sustained.
Please help if you can by donating to the GoFundMe campaign
Please visit Mike’s GoFundMe page and donate!
Please give generously – all proceeds of the walk go to ZANE.
Follow Mike’s hike on our Facebook posts and website.
You can become a regular contributor to ZANE here: http://zaneaustralia.org.au/donate/
If you are following Mike’s tales of endurance on the Pacific Crest Trail with interest please consider donating through his GoFundMe page or directly to ZANE Australia or ZANE UK to support this work – often intervention by ZANE is all that stands between life and death for these vulnerable elderly people struggling to survive the power cuts, fuel shortages and the spiralling costs of food and medicine.