When we were young
Somewhere around this time period, mid August, the story goes that a hunter is camping in the forest in California directly west of Yosemite. He creates an illegal fire. He either doesn’t put it out or it gets out of control and sparks what will turn into the single largest wildfire in California's illustrious history. Yosemite is inundated with smoke. The Tioga road, our artery and only path from the high country (where we will enter via car) and the valley (where the trail starts) closes down so they can back-burn.
The training for Job R gets moved up to the 28th and 29th of August. So we can hit the trail reasonably soon in September. I pack an extra insulating layer and throw in a beanie. I'm ready.
The training comes. The fire gets bigger. The training is done. The fire rages on. Our lives are packed into 110 liters of space. Everything needed to subsist without the aid of society carried on our backs.
This feels horribly amiss. Having been on a few westward camping/backpacking trips, the car should be absolutely full of stuff.
It's completely empty except 2 packed backpacks.
The empty car with only two backpacks rolls out of San Marcos later than we'd planned. We left around noon or later. Went slow so we could afford ourselves time to remember any things we forgot.
And then we headed west like we've done so many times before not knowing what was in store.
In many ways, we had no idea what was in store this time either. We did know where we were going though. We knew the name of the trail we'd be hiking.
That was about all we knew.