15 Jul Into the State of Jefferson
I am alive and well. My energy to write is a bit sapped this day. Yet, an update is needed and due.
Rapid fire update:
Returned to trailhead near Chester at 1pm on the 7th.
Restocked the cache with Gatorade and sodas.
Met Lint and Beads.
Hiked out with them and did 20mi to Drakesbad Lodge.
Got Sierra Nevada and Pasta and Meatballs at the Lodge.
We were invited to swim in their thermal pools after dark.
We swam and floated until 2200 watching the stars.
Next day was hot and exposed and I was lazy.
Hiked to Old Station.
Met past hikers Legosaurus and Pocahontas doing trail magic on the way.
Had a pop and a bagel.
In Old Station, got a mint chip milkshake at the store.
Enjoyed a picnic table.
A local offered us a place to stay.
Birdman, Lint, Beads and I took them up on it.
Turned into two nights as good meal after good meal was offered in exchange for helping with chores.
After full day off, back to the trail where we saw Cowgirl, Midnight Chocolate, and Chief.
Hat Rim was ahead: a 30 mile waterless stretch over volcanic exposed rock.
Hoping for a kind breeze and no thunderstorms, we set forth.
Turned out not to be waterless.
One of the most gorgeous days with Mt Lassen to the South and Mt Shasta to our North.
Next morning, almost stepped on a cold rattler while catholin amidst the sage brush.
Hiked into Burney Falls. Cool waterfalls.
We rested at the camp store and scared families.
A gal, Anish, caught up to us and joined Lint, Beads, Birdman and me.
She is doing 45 miles a day and going for the speed record.
It was her birthday. I shared some OJ with her.
Anish left and Lint joined her. Good luck and happy trails to both. Likely last I’ll see of them for a while.
Chief’s wife had an RV camping spot.
We joined them for a pork chop dinner.
Delicious and hearty.
Off again the next day after pancakes and kielbasa scramble.
Nice day hiking.
Took a dip in Rock Creek to cool down.
Rested at lunch with Beads.
Put in near 30 after running out of water, missing a road turnoff for a creek, and searching thirstily for decent camping in a branch covered logging stretch.
Set up tent in a tractor wheel groove.
Drank whiskey to quench my thirst enough to sleep.
Woke early and rushed a few miles to water.
Chugged a couple liters of water.
Birdman caught up with me.
Another near 30 day to the McCloud River.
A local guy was tearing up the dirt roads with his Suzuki jeep.
Stopped and offered us a Bud Light Lime tall boy.
Insisted we camp at Ah Di Na because it was “high frequency”
We couldn’t turn that down.
Ah Di Na was an old fishing lodge that had since worn down to just a stone chimney.
Decent vibes but no alien visitations.
Next day hiked to Castella.
Dip in Squaw Valley Creek on the way.
Crossed under I-5.
Today is the 15th.
I’ll get some breakfast, send a package of stuff home and then get back on the trail.
Etna by Friday to catch an evening of their Bluegrass Festival. Oregon next week. That will be an amazing milestone. Maybe more exciting than the half way mark.