June 18, 2014

Donners Pass of a Past on the PCT

I sit here at Donner's Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail as hungry as a hippo, about ready to gorge on some food (not people), I think about a wild weekend adventure a friend and I took 5 years ago. 

It was Winter time. Dallas and I were itching to leave Twin Falls, Idaho and find a new adventure.  At the ripe age of 20, school and work were getting the best of us.  As we looked at maps, we decided to drive somewhere.  What about Vegas for the weekend?! No, that wasn't going to work because we weren't even 21. Hmmmm, we contemplated.  For some reason we put our finger on Sacramento, California and loaded up the car.  It was Saturday evening and I had to be to work on Monday at 6 in the morning.  Therefore,  we would have to spend nearly the entire time driving.  Easy peasy, in my head it wasn't a big deal. Should we tell our parents?  Na, we'll just call them when we get there.

Dallas and I piled into my 1992 manual Ford Escort and excitingly hit the road on our crazy trip.  What a blast we were having.  We did it!  We got out of town and we're on our way to California.  As 1 am hit, I asked Dallas if he could drive.  "I don't know how to drive stick shift," he said. My eyes got big when I realized I would be driving the entire way. 

As we started driving over Donner's Pass, the fog was so thick that we couldn't hardly see in front of us.  I told him to watch behind us.  The nice thing about going over the pass late at night was that there were no other cars. That still didn't matter because we couldn't see if there were or not.  Clenching the wheel as my knuckles turned white, I couldn't wait to be out of the fog. 

As we rolled into Sacramento at 5am, we wondered the streets.  As soon as the capital building opened, we meandered the halls until we found Arnold Schwarzenegger's office. Hoping to see the new senator, we took a picture of the sign instead.  We headed outside, called our parents, listened, and laughed to how different each of their reactions were.  It was just simple fun for us at the time.  As we hit the road at noon, I was still feeling fine.  It had been about 30 hours with no sleep, so all was going to be OK.

Crossing over Donner's Pass during the day was beautiful.  I want sure when the next time I was going to be back, but this was quite an experience. As we hit Jackpot, Nevada, we had to drive through a blizzard in the dark. I was ready to conk out, so I had Dallas start asking me really hard questions to keep me awake.  Needless to say, we made it back safe, and I zombied my way through an 8 hour shift.

I'm not saying I would ever want to do that again, but that is my story of Donner's Pass as I sit here in the beautiful sun eating peanut butter balls, chips, and tuna after hiking 1150 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail.  

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