Migration patterns and infrastructure systems have been a repeating theme in our story, as I stalk the footsteps of previous wanderers. These long journey are taken for business reasons or personal necessity. There are, of course, rare, semi-mythic individuals who choose to plod insane distances for fun. These morons ply their trade in places such as the Tevis Cup Trail, where I spent my morning.
The Tevis Cup started as a one hundred mile horse race through the Sierras. Then one year a rider's horse came up lame just before start time. Not to be deterred, the fellow chose to race on foot. He finished in under twenty four hours and the Tevis Cup Ultramarathon was born. Competitors vie for the honor of being covered in glory, sweat, and their own vomit. Sign up today!
I admit I was jealous and lusting after my own adventure. Not the creative type, I opted for getting lost again. I was supposed to turn onto Soda Springs Road, but amidst the gaggle of unmarked roads I became befuddled. A dead end clued into the error. I would have to backtrack a couple of miles uphill and boy was I thrilled at the prospect!
There had been no water sources in a while and I was running low. A liter of brownish, sediment filled water was all I had left. O happy day the phone actually worked and there was a cavalry to call. I contacted Ted and he promised to be out with water in a couple hours. In the meantime I worked in becoming unlost. Two dirt bikers, A.J. and Chris, my first humans of the day, showed up to play hero. A.J. told me where I had gone wrong and offered to double me up to the place I had turned wrong.
A.J. was polite enough to ask if I would like to get stoned before the ride. I declined, but failed to wonder whether he was of sober mind until we blasted off. My suggestion immeditately pitched off the cliff and I clung tight to his shoulders, sure I would follow. He pealed around turns like a seasoned pro, as if I wans't even there (fortunately I still was). I was relieved to dsimount, the ride was one of the more exilirating experiences Iof the trip if also one of the dumbest.
I was back on trail, but the water bottles had not spontaneously filled themselves in the interim. The Oxborrows were in route, but there was no easy way to reach me. I sipped my fetid brew, spitting out dirt with each swallow. A new savior emerged from the forest in a white pickup. I asked him for water and showed the disgusting brown sludge, prompting him to reply, "Oh Hell no!" He rushed to the bed and grabbed two ice cold 16 oz. bottles.
Half of what he gave me disappeared in one slug, gone to quench my raging thirst. I rationed the rest while continuing on, hoping Ted and Trevor would arrive soon. They made the scene at five, water, food, and camera in hand. I apologized for bringing them out in rough roads that took them nearly three hours to drive. Ted and Trevor would have none of it, insisting how pleased they were to help me in this endeavour. They even took my pack ahead to the campsite where I planned to spend the evening! I think I might write-in their names for President.
18 miles/3845 total mil