Archive for July 16th, 2006

Destination: Below McRae Ridge
Starting Location: Sierra City
Today’s Miles: 27.60
Trip Miles: 1226.30
Sierra City (1197.6, 4570) to Below McRae Ridge (1225.2, 5942) ascent (5384) descent (3980)

I was really hoping for an offer of hot coffee along with our ride to the trail but when I did not see any movement from the tent trailer at 6:20 a.m. I figured our ride, let alone the coffee, was in jeopardy. But true to his word Mark rolled out at 6:25 a.m. with blurry eyes and headed to the out-house. At 6:30 a.m., as promised, we loaded in his pick up and made it to the trail head at 6:45 a.m. Elevator (Jeff Singwald), Larry and Sandy were also getting dropped off. He took some photos of those who were helping us and we started up a 2700 foot ascent. What a way to start a big day.
Ridiculous sign out side the out-house this morning. By the outside water, immediately adjacent to the crapper was a sign that read “no fish cleaning and no use of soap”. The fish thing absolutely worked for me but if they think I am going to use a pubic out house and not use soap afterwards they are mistaken. Hell if I use soap after being near my own poop I am damn well going to use it when I am around others poop. So I did not follow the rules in our $18.00 out house, picnic table, trash, and do not use soap campground.
Elevator caught me easily on the climb and we had a nice chat climbing up the mountain dotted with abandoned mines. Heard our old friends Early Riser and Hard Tack had given up their hikes and that Two Shoes was getting off as well. As this group had completed an around the world one year bicycle tour I figured they would stick with it. However, one thing for certain, I cannot predict who will and will not continue. I have been continually surprised both directions.
At mid morning, well above Sierra City, and with great overlooks into the Gold Lakes Basin we met a family who was enjoying our public lands via a Jeep on an authorized off-road vehicle area. They were great and gave us each a 7-Up. The best magic is unexpected and on-trail! They were a big family – Mom, Dad, 4 boys, and 2 girls and they joked that they were not Mormon. I asked if they were Catholic. They said no, and then Swiss Miss said with a perfectly straight face and a great Swiss accent – “no TV” – That was funny!
27 miles to hike today, 27 miles to hike, you hike a mile take a drink, 26 miles to hike… That kept my mind occupied for a few hours. I was prepared for a long day mentally and thus it was relatively easy physically. Did I just say that? I remember years ago, I believe it was my sister Sheri, walked 20 miles for a charity. At the time that seemed like such a long ways…And it is. We do 27 again tomorrow.
After initiating yet another conversation with Sugar Daddy regarding God matters and talking for a while we had a dialog that went something like this: SD – do you believe it is possible, given you are seeking, that God brought us together so I could help you find God? GB – absolutely (and I do absolutely believe that it is possible). GB – so SD do you believe it is also possible that God brought us together so I could help you see how righteous and prideful you are with regard to having the answer about God? Long pause, SD – yes it is possible but not likely. GB – why not? SD – because I have the word of God as given to me in the Bible and you do not. Ok before I go any further I want to repeat something I have already stated. SD is a good friend, and I have immense respect for the man and his faith. But this type of logic is exactly why go Big is choosing to stay a heathen. For me being “right” is my biggest single character fault (I have many others as well) and religions, particularly Christianity, continually profess that they have the monopoly on the right answer while the rest of us are wrong. In my view this is incredibly arrogant and is wrong for me. For me, when I think “got it”, is about the exact moment that I “loose it”. And when I take such a “right” attitude I completely close myself off to other possibilities. And there are certainly many worth exploring. But by definitions my Christian friends seem to believe theirs is the only way. Earlier in the hike SD and I were discussing this and we came upon another Christian, who shall remain nameless, who made the bold statement that sometimes you just “know”. I asked him to name one, he looked East, pointed to the sun, and said definitely “I know the sun rose in the East”. I smiled while ironically SD pointed out that actually the earth rotated around the sun. That conversation ended quickly as I pointed out that just maybe their monopoly approach to God might be off as well and that if my history was correct religious organizations actually executed the best minds of their times who did figured out the rotation question. I think this person was actually a bit pissed at me…Imagine that. And with that, from what I know I generally subscribe to the “truths” of the Bible. But these truths seem to be universal and nearly all cultures and their religions have very similar ideas about right and wrong, morality, good and evil. Yet each of them claim their map is the right map even though they have not even looked at the other map. Now that is a good way to get lost on the PCT. So this is how it works – person chooses their map (Bible, Koran, Bag a Vicita, Phone Book) then they say their map is right because the map says so. Then when I say yeah but you choose the map in the first place and maybe you chose wrong, they say something like no because my map was inspired by God and I know it was because my map says it was. Ok, but the other map makes the same claim. So what, they were wrong and I can prove it because my map says so… and on, and on, and on. Best circular arguments I have ever heard and if you choose this path you can always be right. I kind of like not having the answer but rather walking the trail while keeping my eyes wide open for new maps.
Oh boy. What am I doing ranting about my views after 10:00 p. m. I will pay for this tomorrow. Do you think this is punishment for my views? I am so looking forward to meeting God if She exists. We are going to have a very long debriefing. Now is that Swiss Miss or Pang snoring?


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