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[pct-l] News from the Trail: Goforth

Goforth's home now (as you may know). Here's the final letter I received
from her on the trail (it arrived while I was on vacation):

Dunsmuir, CA

Dear List Folks,

        Well, I want you to know we did O.
        We decided to slackpack the first 28 miles to Bartle Gap from Burney
Falls (compliments of Jim Brunton). The 1st 14 miles were fine, the last 14
were very confusing. (Peavine Creek to Bartle Gap). A notice at Peavine
Creek said we should take the Summit Lake road through Red Mt to Bartle Gap
(no map). There were logging roads everywhere--very few designated/numbered;
most not on the map. Under these circumstances, the advice was cavalier +
destructive. The 3 younger, stronger, faster fellows (Tradya, neal + David)
in front of us, also slackpacking, never arrived that night. We got to
Bartle Gap after dark -- a piece of luck + very good navigating. We camped
on the trail + then waited until 11 am the next day for the 3 errant fellows
to arrive. They finished O by walking Hiway 89 as did a number of other
thruhikers. However, after Bartle Gap, Section ) was GREAT + ended with a
lot of big, big Doug Firs, deep deept canyons, shade, + nice clear streams
(also the worst poison oak so far).
        I have begun to feel for the first time that getting to Manning,
Canada, may be a real possibility. My right knee is still giving me trouble
+ I have done something to my back that doesn't seem to be healing, but I am
still going + surviving 20+ mile days. Every mile however has been a
struggle + 20 miles a day is still very difficult. Both Tom + I feel that
this has been the most difficult thing we have done in our lives.
        I climbed Grizzly Peak in Section O; it was peak number 56. So for 2
years running I have climbed as many peaks as my age.
        Perhaps daydreaming is a remnant purification ritual, an archaic
program left over from our primitive ancestors who after all had no roads,
maps, or cars + spent much of their time walking. Maybe counting too is
purification time. Counting like the dreamy singsong numbers when I was
stacking blocks as a very small child. The 20 count pee, the 6 minute
switchback, the number of malted milk balls to be split over 4 days, the
days, hours + minutes split and apportioned, split into miles + canyos +
valleys + rivers; split into conversations with strangers, + strangers who
are now friends -- pieces of the puzzle, every peice burned into my memory.
There is nothing about this hike that I will easily forget.


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