27.8 miles (Miles 1388.9 – 1416.7)
Hat Creek Rim – Burney
I slept in later than I’d planned, but I was still on the trail before 7am. I hiked quickly toward Cache 22 with the hope of catching Aloha before he left to meet up with Tears. I was happy to see he was still in his tent! I enjoyed the quick hike – it was nice to get a chunk of mileage done on the exposed rim in the cool of the morning. I had a nice morning view of Mt. Shasta to keep me company as I looked all over in the shrubs for the critters that left tracks on the trail. All I saw was a bunny, some heart-stopping, flying quail, and lizards.
Finally at the cache, I sat and enjoyed an ice-cold root beer and Gatorade with Mountain Man, Flower, Kenobi and Aloha. Cache 22 reminded me of the forts we’d build as kids, and it did a great job of providing comfy shade on such a hot day. Chairs, water, chips and cold drinks made it a straight-up oasis. Thanks to Tred and Aloha!
It was hard saying bye to Aloha again, but I made plans to meet him again at Hwy. 299 so I could decide what to do with the rest of the hiking day. I was motivated to hike hard to get there, but the heat stopped me a few times. I stopped three times in that 13 miles to get out of the sun, eat, drink, and shut my tired eyes for a few minutes.
I perked up in the afternoon, was in a great mood, and I hiked steady despite the heat and faucet of sweat running down my face. I thought maybe I’d be up for hiking the additional 7+ miles to Burney Falls State Park, but that would have put me around 35 miles for the day. After just doing 32 yesterday, I decided to give my feet a rest instead. What a brilliant choice! Adam picked me up and took me into Burney. I showered, ate salad and cottage cheese (my biggest cravings!), and resupplied for the next stretch. I’m all ready to go now, and I hope to catch up to Tears in a day or a day and a half.
Sometimes the simplest things stop me in my tracks as I’m hiking. Usually it’s something pretty, a weird bug, critter, butterfly or flower. Today I was hiking along, thinking about something – I have no idea what – and I stopped. There was a Cascadia footprint going the other direction. Cascadias are very popular on the PCT and if you ever question whether or not you’re on the trail, you just look for their iconic lines in the dirt for confirmation. So what the heck was this one going the other way for!? I immediately pulled up my Halfmile app to make sure I didn’t get turned around on accident… nope… still going north! So what the heck!? I wondered up all kinds of stories why those prints were going the other way to help pass time under the blazing sun. I thought of everything from it simply being a southbounder, to as crazy as someone who’s hiking the PCT backwards. It was quite a fun game.
Tonight I love my $7 slip/skirt. It might be a little sheer and fraying a bit, but it’s working pretty well!
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!