US 4: California
I’d loved my journey through Canada, Alaska, Washington and Oregon but when I crossed into the northwestern forests of California it felt really special. You know, entering a state where some of my heroes like White Fang, Lassie and Wile E. Coyote (see images, copied from http://www.powerlineblog.com and http://www.allposters.com) live or lived makes it almost like a spiritual home in some ways.
This seemed to give my running an extra boost as I crossed from the Cascades to the Sierra Nevada mountains, and I made it to Lake Tahoe by late morning. I basked in the sun by the lakeside for a couple of hours, and put my feet up. I thought it was a well deserved break from my epic journey, and enjoyed the tranquil setting and idyllic scenery.
As AM turned into PM I decided to get a move on, and soon got into my stride. I passed through Hetch Hetchy Valley, Kings Canyon, Tehipite Valley and Kern Canyon as I ran down the western side of the mountains. Yosemite National Park was particularly awesome, with beautiful waterfalls all around; although I didn’t see anything of Yogi and the gang; probably just as well, as bears can be troublesome, although Yogi seems okay on film.
The Sequoia trees were marvellous to run through, and they really made you feel insignificant; and it takes something amazing to make me feel insignificant I can tell you, being a mythical legendary being.
Then I made my way down to the Mojave Desert and Death Valley, which are beautiful in another way; it was amazing to pass from cool green lush forested mountains down to the desolate hot red rock expanse in a couple of hours, and it made the day all the more special.
The heat didn’t slow my progress at all, and I made it to the south-eastern border by nightfall. It got real cold overnight, but I was warmed by memories of the day; sights, smells and sounds that will stay with me forever. I slept soundly.