(Humbolt) Summit Fever (Posted 6 August 2012, 02:22pm)

If anyone asks, I cant read english.

I am sitting in a rest area next to highway 89. There is smoke in the air from the Chips fire and pieces of ash floating past. I am waiting for darkness to arrive so I can put up my tent next to the 'No overnight camping' sign.

I forced myself to sit here and consider my options because I have been experiencing "summit fever". I have been road walking for the past four days to get around the fire and back onto the trail. The question is where to rejoin the trail.

Officially the trail is closed until Highway 36 which is at mile 1335 of the trail. This is beyond the midpoint of the trail at mile 1326. I have spotted Humbolt Road on my map that rejoins the trail before the midpoint at Humbolt Summit (mile 1315). I had be planning to take Humbolt Road and have been making phone calls this afternoon to try and ascertain the scope of the fire and how far north it extends. The fire information phone would only tell me that the Pacific Crest Trail was closed until Chester (Highway 36) and that I should hitch there. Over the past days I have felt an irrational determination to stand at the midpoint developing. I am no stranger to these feelings - there was the time I tried to cycle into the middle of Madrid on a four lane highway with five broken spokes but that's another story...

I have sat and had good look at my map. I think I have come to my senses and will walk directly to Highway 36 tomorrow morning, about 10 miles from here. Four words, "keep away from fire", in a text from my big sister helped. I have decided I need to forget the midpoint of the trail and refocus on getting to the endpoint.

Perhaps I will return one day to walk the section of trail that I couldn't and pose for a photo next to the midpoint monument. For now, I have probably just walked past the midpoint of my journey - some hard piece of tarmac along the highway or perhaps a dusty and forgotten road in the forest.

A forest road.


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06 (Humbolt) Summit Fever
06 Road walking around a wildfire

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