21.4 miles (Miles 1335.2 – 1356.6)
Chester – PCT Mile 1356.6
I’m just simply pokey in the morning when I’m in town. The comforts around me drag me into them and cause me to do everything much slower than I’d like. This morning after I shut my alarm off and crawled back into bed, I fell asleep and got up an hour later than I’d planned. I made a cup of coffee and decided I’d shower – I wasn’t going to shower, but it just sounded so nice. After Aloha got up and showered, we checked out of our room, filled the car up with gas, then went to the grocery store. Aloha was heading back out to cache 22 and wanted to bring goodies. He filled a cart with soda, Gatorade, chips, beer and ice.
By the time everything was done, I finally hit the trail at 10:30am. I was hoping for 8am, originally. Oh, well. I had a great morning taking my time and helping Aloha. I felt pretty refreshed once my shoes hit that dirt, and so I cruised. I took my first break about 9 miles in at the Feather River. I ate lunch, chugged some water, and put my feet in the water. It was a perfect little break.
Then the trail brought me into Lassen Volcanic National Park. It was just trail through the woods, like normal. No volcanos.
I came up behind Shotput just before a junction to Terminal Geyser. Her and I decided to take the .4-mile round trip to see it, and it was totally worth it. We could hear it before we could see the steam billowing up from between the rocks in the hillside. It was gurgling in small pools, and the geyser was making a steady, loud roar. It was quite impressive, as well as a bit intimidating. I walked in a little closer to take some photos, and I could feel the heat it was giving off. I certainly didn’t want to get too close! There’s the volcanic activity I was hoping to see!
A short while after the trip to see the geyser, I started to smell sulfur pretty strongly. As I kept hiking, I started to hear bubbling. I came up over a small hill and was looking down on a green-tinged, milky lake. It was actually really pretty, it just didn’t appeal to me like the clear blue lakes do. I had no desire to swim here, drink, dip my feet in, or even go to the shoreline. The rotten-egg smell didn’t help, either, but I enjoyed it for it’s alien appearance.
My next break spot was at a picnic table at the Warner Valley campground. I ate dinner and drank water from a spigot while visiting with Shotput and Atlas. I didn’t bring my stove on this section as an experiment. I know breakfast is fine cold, but I haven’t tried many dinners. I had cold-mixed mashed potatoes, and they were pretty good! I could do that again.
Back on the trail, I climbed away from the campground and found a nice little camp spot with the relaxing sound of a river down the hill. I’m cuddled up in my Hubba tent without the rainfly just about ready to fall asleep. I hope to get in a big-mileage day tomorrow. If I can do 30 miles I might have a chance at seeing Aloha at the cache on Sunday… and have a cold soda. Mmmm, motivation!
Tonight I love my Hubba tent. So cozy!
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!