Posted by: blinklove | September 1, 2010

We Finished The Sierras!

"Billy Goat"

“How far do you expect to make it before you get too cold?” asked Billy Goat while joining us at our campsite for breakfast.  “Billy Goat” is a legend out here, and amongst hikers across the country is considered the most decorated and inspirational hiker around. He is well into his sixties and has hiked the PCT and Appalachian Trail several times.  He set out for a thru-hike this year but, due to all the snow, decided to limit it to a section hike and, lucky for us, ended up in the High Sierras with us at the peak of the mountain range’s beauty.  We loved chatting with him for the short time we did, and am happy we met.

Knowing his knowledge of the western mountains was thorough and tested, we asked how much time he think we had to finish this race against winter weather. Though every year is different, he estimated that “…by mid-October I’d start thinking about getting out of here.” The snow may start falling in the colder areas in September but it will be bearable until the temperature really begins to drop.  This is more-or-less what we had estimated.

So, with so many conflicting opinions (some people we asked claimed winter started September 1st in Washington, some have said we have until November before “real” winter temperatures come around) we will remain optimistic about the time table. We have only 76 miles remaining before we reach Lake Tahoe where we will then skip up to the Canadian border and head south, essentially running away from the snow clouds coming behind us like McGyver narrowly escaping a fiery explosion. There shouldn’t be any old snow to contend with so we will move efficiently through the Cascades, earning as much time as we can to get down to Northern California to complete the last section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Whatever the weather decides to do, we know this will be a struggle. It has already gotten very, very cold in the Sierras, dropping well below freezing temperatures at night. On Sunday, August 29th, Grace Meadow even received two-inches of fresh snow. That’s a meadow along the PCT that resides at a modest 8,000 ft. As the temperatures continue to drop and every night and day gets harder to handle we will long more and more for the comfort and love that awaits us at home. But, as-is the point, we will be experiencing these conditions in order to become more intimate with what it is like to be in a non-voluntary life of homelessness.Though we have the privilege of heading home when this is done, many dogs, cats, humans, and others do not have this choice. Whether it be snow, freezing temperatures, neglect, abuse, starvation, or any of the other countless conditions of peril, it is their reality and they can’t tap out when the going gets tough. So, we won’t either.

Heather in Grace Meadow the afternoon after the snow

Friends and family of the BlinkLove Team have given endless support and love as we have taken on each new challenge of this journey. We feel the call to continue until we just can’t go any further. Hopefully, that means by the time the snow really starts to fall and the temperatures really start to drop we will be crossing the finish line and celebrating 2,663.5 miles of hiking completed. Rest assured, though, that we will never do anything that may put our health in danger. We have too much more we plan on doing after this hike is done that will make steps towards improving the lives of everyone in need.

Thank you for your support and dedication. Blink’s Team will get back to you very soon.

Onward to Tahoe!

-Heather and Stephen

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Responses

  1. Glad to know you’re feeling better…got to watch for the “monsters inside us”. both of you are shining examples of the goodness in this world. Keep up the GREAT WORK. Hope I get to hear the stories in person upon your return. Love to you both.

  2. Thanks for the great update. Glad to hear you guys are feeling better and doing well. Enjoy the amazing jewel that is Lake Tahoe. It’s the most incredible lake I’ve ever been to and holds a very special place in my heart. The clarity will take your breath away (and so will the very cold water :-). Sending good thoughts & much love….

  3. Great to see and read another post! Miss you both so much, but I know you are doing this for the animals!


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