posted on Sunday, June 04, 2017


Yesterday, Placerville fire station was not to be found but I did spot the Sheriff car parked by the side of the road. I asked for some good spots to put the tent. "Go straight until you find a trail on the left," he said "follow the trail and you'll find a good place." "Nobody will bother you there". "By the way, stay safe." he continued, "Just watch out as bears and cats have been recently spotted in the area." Thinking he didn't mean pets, I put on a brave face and confirmed with confidence: "You mean mountain lions?" "Yeah." Came the quick reply. Shaken, I steadied the old nerves, dug deep for breath and calmly said "that's fine I'll store my food away from the tent...". Of course nothing was fine but still! I followed his advice, got to the trail he recommended, found the spot he meant but on close inspection, realised it must have been the county firing range and the Sheriff must have not liked me that much after all. The place was littered with hundreds of spent bullets, hardly a good place to pitch tents, never mind the cats... I decided to continue up the mountain until the light allowed and spotted a bonfire on the large lawn of a private property. A man waived at me at which point I thought it was meant to be! I went through the gate, sat down and chatted a bit to Tim and Hazel and casually asked if they knew a place I could pitch my tent. "Here!" they said. I pretended to look surprised but must admit it was exactly the answer I was hoping for. We had a nice conversation by the fire and was even offered dinner which I refused as I was still digesting the famous pulled pork I had up the road. Frosting and baking continues. Last night in Tim's lawn it dropped below zero and now, a few hours later I am frying in the lovely town of Ridgway. Unusual sights in the States. A grandpa with a long white beard is teaching his niece how to skateboard and generally be cool. People around here seem most friendly, each little town I visit someone comes by and tells me all the good places I should visit but don't have the time to. Over a thousand kilometres gone and a few hundreds more to go.