Pack is a beast --HEAVY! Heaviest yet. Scale indicated pack weight of 48 lbs--heavy with food--5.5 days and Eat More, and water--5 1/4 quarts
Started 1408.1 Ended 1405.9
Sat 8/5 Started 1405.9 Ended 1383 at junction with trail to Lost Creek. It was HOT, I was cowboy camping and there were mosquitoes. I did not sleep well, so, at 12:30 am, I hit the trail. Yes, this is just after midnight. But I was about to start Hat Creek Rim--21 miles without water and it has been HOT. However, there was a full moon and the light it provided, so why not night hike. I did the best I could not to use my headlamp or phone app too much. I hiked through and past a fish hatchery and hydroelectric plant.
At mile 1404 I got water from a mall creek, my last water for 21 miles. Night hiking is hiking by feel and really focusing eyesight on the trail.
Around 3:00 am, I bivvied under an oak tree--ground cloth and sleeping pad--that's all. About 4:00 am, I did put on my wind top and rain pants for warmth.
- At 5:00 am I resumed hiking. Not much sleep, but I was doing miles while it was cool.
- Trail Magic around mile 1400--cooler with small cans of pop.
- Hikers informed me that the water cache was completely empty.
- NOBO hiker named Boo asked if I had extra water. I answered, "Not really. How much water do you have?" When Boo answered "one liter," I slid my pack off and gave him one liter.
- This makes me short, but I was glad to help a fellow thru-hiker.
- The morning was cloudy and pretty nice hiking. By afternoon, the clouds were mostly gone and it got hot. I would hike a little, then shade up under a bush or small tree. This was repeated several times.
- When I got to my campsite, I grabbed empty water bottles, filters, and headed down Lost Creek Trail. In one-third of a mile, this trail lost four hundred feet of elevation. This trail, the "trail from hell;" was steep, rocky, and had lots of loose dirt. The water is great--cold and a source I did not filter or treat.
- I have about 9 miles more to end this waterless stretch.
- A pitcher of iced tea with lemon would really hit the spot now.
- Sometime in the early morning hours while I was hiking, a bird dive-bombed me 8-9 times.
- When I left Burney Mountain Guest Ranch yesterday evening, I was clean and my hiking clothes were clean. You can't tell it now--that's how dry and dusty it is.
- We have many ways to communicate on the trail--in person, phone, email, text, facebook, etc. PCT hikers--NOBO and SOBO--relay a lot of information in short order--water conditions, caches, towns, etc.
- When I go my maps for this section I realized I did not have the map for 9 miles of trail--between Burney Trail's State Park and Burney Mountain Guest Ranch. I quizzed three NOBO hikers and with a few cryptic notes, I had no problems. I also had good information about Hat Creek Rim.
- Carrying "The Beast" (my heavy pack) wore me out
- At camp, things/minor irritants normally don't faze me. Last night I was not happy with any irritant.
- Today my body is tired, even my ever-ready legs are tired.
- This morning I saw Gilbert from Yakima. It was good to talk with Gilbert, he is cranking 30s (thirty mile days) in a push toward Canada
- Then I saw Sam. The day I felt bad near the Rainbow Bridge, Sam offered to go off trail and get me water
- Made it to Old Station and JJ's Cafe for breakfast. Nice phone calls with Becky and Garrett. Leanna works Sundays and rarely is available to talk.
- By noon I was hiking again. It was hot, then clouds rolled in. Thunderstorm with a few sprinkles. It is cracking and popping right now
- There is a group of eight hikers. Four are doing the 24-hour challenge (how many miles can you hike in one twenty-four hour period). Dixie (Jessica from Alabama) and MacMan are doing the challenge. If I did the 24-hour challenge, I could not move for three days.
- The hike this morning (meeting Gilbert and Sam) showed me that I just need to press on and keep making tracks. More rewards are ahead.
Started at PCT mile 1383 at Lost Creek Campsite Hiked to Hwy 44 at PCT mile 1374.9
(ate at JJ's Cafe)
Hiked to Hat Creek Campsites at PCT mile 1367.2 -- about 16 miles.
Mon 8/7 PCT junction with Lost Creek Trail mile 1367.2 Ended 1343.8 Lassen National Park Boundary Spring 23.4 miles
- Met Waves--a gal who grew up in Wenatchee, now lives in Bellingham
- Bloody Smooches, Danger Stranger
- I said rewards are coming--I met and talked with Jessie
- Another thunderstorm in afternoon with a light rain for 2 hours or so
- After I set up camp, ate dinner, and crawled in the tent to get prone, other hikers came to camp at Boundary Springs also--5 hikers in all. I like having someone to talk to but chores don't get done--like my blog post for the day.
Tues 8/8 Started 1343.8 Ended 1318.2
Some hikers I met:
- Kemo-Sabe--I immediately said, " I am the Lone Ranger."
- Chris/Snow White--I met Chris earlier just below Cottonwood Pass
Ginormous Pine cones
- 14" long by 14" circumference (Jeffrey Pine?)
- 8" long by 14" circumference
- Fir cone I suspect, 14" long by 10" circumference
- If one of these rascals fall from a tree and lands on my head, I'll see stars.
About 500 feet of trail was flooded--ankle to calf deep. Felt refreshing
For a while today there were signs indicating a change of ownership--from Forest Service to private timber company, or back the other way. Must be a checkerboard ownership pattern. Fairly common in the West.
In the afternoon, clouds built up again. Only received a few sprinkles
After getting tent set up, my routine is this:
- Eat some sausage (Gallo dry Italian Salami) with cheese and crackers
- Start dinner--Tonight was pulled pork with veggies and potatoes--Eat your hearts out
- Eat Fritos and/or granola bar
- Brush teeth, dig poop hole (aka cat hole), just in case
- Write blog notes for Becky to decifer (sometimes it's harder than others)
Now two days later, the right shoe has a hole, just below big toe. I still have 230 miles to South Lake Tahoe. We'll see how the shoe is in Belden, two days from now.
Camp is over 7000 feet. Now that the sun is down, it is really cooling off. Yeah!! Much better than being so hot I can't sleep.
- Some hikers I met: Duracell (a gal) and Two Tone (a guy) (I met Duracell at Kennedy Meadows)
- Jut Wait/Alex--I camped with Alex and Lawrence just above Scissors Crossing many miles ago. We also saw each other in Idyllwild
- Duct tape on right heel
- Socks I washed out at creek are on my feet and will be dry by morning
- Shoes are still damp to wet from large creek crossing. I waded and it felt refreshing.
- I am looking forward to seeing Neal Jones in South Lake Tahoe. Neal and I worked together in Ellensburg from 1981-1983. It's been a few years and we have a lot to catch up on. I told Neal I'd be in SLT on Friday, August 18th--Give or take a day. I've been pushing to meet what I said. I din't think I can get much more out of my body. 23, 25, and 25 miles ain't too bad for an old man.
- I am sure blessed to have Becky supporting my hike. I've changed plans a couple of times; she just rolls with the flow
8/10 Thurs Started 1292.9 Ended 1284.3 8.6 miles
- Left camp at 4:35 am (Cowboy camped--Yea!!)
- Didn't get very far and had to stop at a sketchy stream crossing. I needed some light to sort out where to cross and where the PCT was on the other side.
- Quite a bit of trail this morning was slow going due to loose rock. My left ankle was getting better but I tweaked it twice. Hurt like the dickens.
- Great breakfast (town food)--chili cheese omelette, home fries, and toast.