Once in town most people who I hiked with decided not to go back into the Sierras. Most went way out of their comfort zone already during the last days and were not willing to push it further. A good decision I think.

I was still willing to go back and try. I felt confident to try, use alternate routes ir also to turn back in case there was no safe way to continue. I bought detailed maps and planned exit routed and alternates. We talked to the Rangers about updates and infos. Kaylee was also willing to go back in. We wanted to find one ore two more reliable and experienced hikers to form a strong and capable group. But when when all our planning was dine the other hikers we were counting on – especially Bangerang – also opted out.
I have to admit I was shocked. I really wanted to walk from Mexico to Canada with continious foot steps. But only going in with Kaylee who has not enough experience would have been irresponsible. In any way if something would have happened we would have been to few and weak as a team to provide proper rescue options. After a little walk and a coffee we decided to continue together – but not in the Sierra. We both were not willing to take an incalculable risk. A hard but smart decision. So we will skip about 400 trail miles up north to Chester walking further north for the next four or six weeks. Once the rivers go down again we will come back to the Sierras and finish the stretch. After the decision had settled we felt good about it. We are here to enjoy and challenge but not to kill ourselves. Man, I am acting like a real grown up… 😂

The Sierras in the background. We will be back – promised! Kaylee and me happy with the decision after the shock had settled…

So we left the trail here:

And we’ll go back on here:

So the next day and a half was just packed with organisation and planning. Where to send and store out mountaineering equipment which we would need again for the Sierras, the bear canister? What’s the weather like up there? I just bought a new sleeping bag for the Sierras to be safe – would I need it now? Downloading maps. How to get there? It’s hard to explain but it is mental and physical stress at it’s best.

To make a long story short we hitch hiked to the next tiny town to pick up a rental car to find out that they had overbooked their fleet and had no car for us. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere with an incoming snowstorm and the only thing the Enterprise Car Rental hotline told us to call the police in case we would grt into a dangerous situation because of the temperature after they would close the airport…? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. At the end with a lot of trouble we made organised a car and started oir journey north with 7h delay. Good that we weren’t in the mountains…

snow storm in the Sierras

Next day we spent with food shopping, sending resupply packages and storing / sending our equipment. No time to rest again. And now we’ll return the rental car and will try to hitch hike back to the trail in Belden.

And there is another cool thing about skipping up to Belden now. You will find out in the next days… 😉

Sierras – I’ll be back! 😎🤘🏼