We returned to Carol Pauli's on Tuesday, and I think the horses were just as glad to be back at her house as I was; it feels like a warm welcome home, even though both times we've come here we've been fleeing snow! On Wednesday I picked up the PCT again, this time riding south from Sierra City and back towards Truckee. I passed hiker after hiker on the trail, all headed northbound, and I felt like a salmon swimming upstream. I also got a chance to visit briefly again with a hiker I met at the very beginning of my journey, a guy I've nicknamed Tattoos, who walked with us on part of the PCT going into Scissors Crossing and who we also saw again on Mt. Baden-Powell in a snowstorm. He was very helpful with some information about the snow conditions on the trail, although not all of it was reassuring. My plan at this point is to continue to travel south, hopefully as far as Tuolomne Meadows, if the PCT gods allow, although I've learned not to get my hopes up too much. It's hard sometimes to find the right balance between optimism and realism, and not to slide too far into despair when things keep turning out different than I'd planned.