This morning we got going about 7:30 on our way to Burney Falls State Park where I was meeting up with my parents at noon.
We had about 14 miles to do for the day and, as usual when I set a deadline for myself, I was a bit anxious about making sure of getting there at the time I said. I was rushing and stressing myself instead of enjoying the hike. Along the way as I was speed-hiking, I remembered a line from the book Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen. Greg is talking to the village leader about building a school in the Pakistani village and Greg is in a hurry to get going on it so they can have it up by the time the snow hits. The village leader responds by saying, "Our village has gotten along just fine for 600 years without a school, what's one more winter." In my version, I haven't seen my parents in 3 months, and want to see them, but another half hour isn't all that big of a deal in contrast to the 3 months that have already passed. So I slowed down, relaxed, and enjoyed the rest of the hike.
As we entered the park, about 1/2 mile from the bridge to the actual waterfall and park headquarters, we ran into another hiker. He had apparently been searching for the store for 30 minutes, to no avail, so he could pick up his resupply package. He was frustrated with his GPS not getting him where he wanted to go, and as we got closer, insisted that we were on a trail parallel to the PCT and therefore not in the right place. Technically he was right, but I could see on my paper map that we were supposed to follow a trail along the creek for a while until we came to and crossed a footbridge. My eyes told me that we were getting close since we were following the creek, and pretty soon, sure enough, we came to a trail junction with a large brown park sign that said BURNEY FALLS. Apparently it turns out that even a GPS can't save you from yourself, and sometimes a little common sense and being aware of your surroundings can go a long way. This is a lesson that I have learned many times already on the trail, and will probably have the opportunity to learn again in the next 1200 miles.
Once at the park, I found my parents and we had a feast of fresh food, followed by a trip to the town of Burney, more food, and a room at one of Burney's finest motels. It was a lot of fun to see my parents and catch up on what else is going on with the family, as well as tell them some stories about the hike. What a great day!
Sent from the PCT