We are very happy to announce: we are now closer to Canada than Mexico! Last Wednesday we passed the half way marker, and right now we have 1506 miles behind us and 1154 to go. (For the pedantically minded, the trail has grown from 2650 to 2660 miles since they erected the half way post.)
I wondered how I would feel being in the middle of so long a trail, with both beginning and end so distant - would it seem depressingly endless, a day-after-day routine of slogging away the miles? In fact I love it, the trail continues to amaze me, and it's always good to meet folks we've got to know on the trail. And the length of time we have to spend hiking - it's a wonderful luxury to have.
The trail has continued to surprise us over the last couple of weeks. We're in the land of volcanoes, and the fumeroles, lava tubes and odd coloured lakes near Mount Lassen were all really interesting. Then there was the 30 mile stretch along Hat Creek Rim with no water sources, followed by the most lushly vegetated forest we've seen yet.
A less pleasant surprise has been the problems we've been having with our feet - me with blisters, Neil with plantar fascitis. The fact is, on a hike this long your feet keep changing. A combination of boots and insoles that worked earlier in the hike may give problems later on. So we came here to Mount Shasta City, took some expert advice, spent some money, rested for two days, and tomorrow we go back on the trail hoping for the best. But taking a good supply of ibuprofen with us just in case!