Day 456 to 458 Mt. Shasta to Redding – 63 Miles


20151209_111521With each day that passed, I found myself steadily detached from society. I wondered if I had developed the mentality of someone stranded at sea: survive. I had encountered every type of terrain and weather on this trip and it dawned on me that I looked upon it all as one condition. I didn’t think that made me tough, just desensitized. I had become equipped to run miles and miles through heat, cold, dryness, and wetness. But, had I become less equipped to deal with humans? I would find out soon enough. When I reached the Dunsmuir Lodge, after I had run through a dozen miles of cold mist, I was greeted with the news that I would be motivating an entire school district the upcoming week. It was time to begin the mental preparations. I needed my mind to be sharp.

20151209_122733The lodge was cozy with lots of light colored wood furnishing. The smell of pine lingered in the air while trees decorated the mountainside with deep green colors. The rain increased in intensity throughout the day and I was more than happy to hibernate in the warm room. My body thanked me for being considerate on the final state of this event. My body found a position under the sheets. I stayed bundled while I lounged and read. The only time I emerged from the sanctuary was to put food into my stomach.

20151209_135259The next day’s conditions were a tad better. Each step of the day got warmer and warmer. I enjoyed running on the backwoods side roads. The freeway was a terrifying prospect. I crossed the Pacific Crest Trail once again. Many times on this trip my map had led me astray. Every time it happened, I pushed further into wilderness with the expectation of a trail. Of course on my way to Lakehead California it happened once again. My trail climbed high into the mountains. I could see the speeding cars on the freeway from high above. They looked like tiny ant cars from where I was running. When I was finally close to our rendezvous point the trail disappeared. Arrrrggg! Why did it always happen? I backtracked for a little bit and found another path that looked like it led down the mountain. This one also disappeared. I found my running had diminished into carefully chosen steps. I had to find sure footing before lifting my back foot to move forward. I was among trees, bushes, shrubs and rocks. When a stream appeared I decided to follow it. I coveted a machete to hack my way through the branches but in the end they helped as I grabbed them to lower myself down the mountain.

20151210_101146I had made it to the freeway and I was only a mile away from the trailer. Unfortunately I had to run along with traffic. But on the flip side the strong back gusts provided my feet with a little lift. Lunch awaited my arrival and the comforting meal of chilidogs cheered my spirits. I returned to the road with a smile. Of course that only lasted for a few miles. The day became more complicated when a highway patrol officer sent me back to the last stop. Despite being on grass a good distance away from the 5 freeway, the guy did not want to let me continue on. At that same moment the rain began to pour. It was right on cue like a movie. I had Crystal drive me to Lake Shasta RV resort in Lakehead CA. From there I ran backwards on the side road until I reach a spot close to where I got shut down. The taste in my mouth was a bit sour and my mood was foul. Why did my home state have to be so problematic?

20151210_123526The next day the run to Redding was a lot better. I did need assistance crossing a huge bridge close to the damn but I maneuvered the side roads for most of the day. The wildlife watched me as I ran and I felt good about pushing myself into civilization. I asked Crystal and my mom to meet me at a running store I had contacted a few days earlier. They said they would see what they could do for me. I didn’t quite know what that meant but I hoped that I would find one more set of shoes in which I could finish off the journey. The rainwater didn’t taste clean and the air had a light odor. It smelled like factory smoke and concrete. I found my way to Hilltop road. It was appropriately named because when I ran on it, I could see an entire city in the distance.

20151211_094050(0)The owners were absent from the shop but we were just steps away from The Red Lion. It was the hotel in Redding that agreed to host us. Our date of arrival was a day later though. We had gotten into town early due to my freeway shortcut. They were happy to let us stay in their lot though. It was a peaceful and we had heat. I had nothing to complain about. I especially liked the fact that the next day I could lounge around and elevate my feet.

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