Day 40, July 10, 2019 – Mammoth Lakes, CA

Wingman from the Roadside:

About mid-morning I received a cell call from Runningbird. I won’t try to explain the emotion that flooded through on both sides of the phone. She was in the vicinity of the trail above Lake Thomas A. Edison Lake and the Vermillion Valley Resort and was able to get a signal. There was so much she wanted to say about river crossings, snow, mountain passes. But that is all her story to tell. The important part is that she is not injured and is doing well and quickly stepping off the miles despite all the challenges. She had about 37-40 miles to go to reach the Mammoth Lakes area and was going to do her best to get here by tomorrow evening. She was very specific about what she wanted when she got here. Topping the list was a long hug, a hot epsom salt bath, and a Cesar Salad.

She had been hiking on and off with Lone Star who was also taking advantage of the cell connection to talk with his family in Texas. You could here the excitement between both of them to be able to hear familiar voices. It had been a tough week and a huge accomplishment and they were making really good time. I’m really proud of her, especially considering all that she has been through in the months leading up to her stepping on this path. When she gets here to Mammoth Lakes she will have passed the 900-mile mark in 41 days!

While this is only another section of the journey, it is a huge hurdle to be over. The next sections through Yosemite and up to Lake Tahoe will still be challenging. I’m hearing from other hikers that there are some sketchy river crossings that have not been easy, and to some, have been the most difficult parts so far. On the positive side, the time between resupply and access will not be as long as they were during this last section and Runningbird just continues to get stronger.

I spent the afternoon trying to find a decent hotel in town with a decent rate, and most importantly, had a bathtub. There should be some really good story sharing in the coming days.

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