Burney to Castella

Burney to Castella

June 30, 2014

Start: Halfmile 1415.5
End: Halfmile 1416.5
Distance: 1.0 Mi
Cumulative: 1,491.5 Mi

WHOA! A full restock; way more than I need to get to Shasta. I’m not complaining. Quite the contrary- I’m eternally grateful. Peach Rings, jerky, bars/gels, chocolate, nuts, dehydrated mangos, and…lunch money! And so many notes and encouraging words. Mad-love to my generous friends and family: Nyx, Sarah, Elaina, Jennifer and Jason, Liz, Mommy(!), and Gramma and Grandpa. And always, to my love, Ms. Cassie Jane, who has been an outstanding support person (and is responsible for two of those packages!). Love you guys so much!

Reflected on my attitude a little bit too. I’m looking too far ahead. Since nearing the halfway point, I’ve been looking to Crater Lake, and even on to Canada. It’s far too soon for that. There is only Shasta; 90 miles; 3 days. That’s all. No Crater Lake, no Canada. Not yet. One step at a time. It’s 5p, and I’m running out the door now. Hoping to get a few miles tonight. New restock, new attitude. Onward!

July 1, 2014

Start: Halfmile 1416.5
End: Halfmile 1449.0
Distance: 32.5 + 1.0 = 33.5 Mi
Cumulative: 1,525.0 Mi

I got one solitary mile out of Burney before I came across the Wild Bird Cache. I wasn’t going to stop, but Kathy and Randy (the proprietors) were there and seemed a little offended that I wanted to keep going, so I took a seat and visited for a while. They really have quite the hook up out there: solar shower, stocked food cupboard, ice chest, double burner stove, everything. They offered me a beer, but soda is a little more my speed. Plus I was hoping to do another 7 miles into Burney Falls State Park. It would mean a late night, but I was into it. They seemed a little offended that I wasn’t going to stay and that I didn’t care for a beer. I was the only one there, so I eventually fell to the peer pressure. Once they persuaded me to camp for the night, it didn’t take too much more convincing for me to have a few beers with ’em. It was kinda nice, actually. As 10k would say, the plan is always subject to change. That’s the trail, my friends! Flexibility is key.

Speaking of 10k, I caught him today! I was shocked to see him spread out across the trail enjoying the shade at Peavine Creek. We hiked together the rest of the day. Hope we get to hike together for a few hundred miles, at least. I really enjoy his company. I wonder who will be near me when I leave Portland. I’m definitely gonna fall behind my current group. Maybe Mountain Goat and Shredder will catch up? Hope I get to hike with some rad folks in Washington. Actually, I'm sure I will. Just curious who they'll be.

Had Clif bars for dinner tonight. Clif bars all day, actually. And more of the same tomorrow. So many Clif bars! And peach rings. Love those care packages! Beats cold instant mashed potatoes.

July 2, 2014

Start: Halfmile 1449.0
End: Halfmile 1476.0
Distance: 27.0 Mi
Cumulative: 1,552.0 Mi

Late one last night. We were hoping to camp by a water source, but it was too overgrown and not a flat spot in sight. It was already late and we had to press on another hour. Ah well, how like life. Ended up camping right by a logging road. There was one flat spot just big enough for two tents. It’s hard to be picky at 930p, so we called it. Turns out it was an active logging road, which meant that we had pretty impressive traffic starting about 4a. It was mostly passenger trucks and such, but there was one bohemeth. The freakin’ thing looked like a Decepticon with a grappling hook hanging from the front end and tracks tilling the dirt as it passed. And I sh*t you not, it shook the ground as it passed. No sense in laying there listening to the sound of impending doom, so we got up and got out of there.

This afternoon, we had the pleasure of running into an ACE conservation corps crew doing corridor work on the PCT. I was so excited. They’re the first trail crew I’ve seen this summer. I stopped and chatted for a bit, then I thanked them for the awesome work and moved along. As I left, the crew boss shouted after me: “You got any water?” I thought he was gonna ask me for some. I was pretty low, but I said “Yeah, what’s up?” To my surprise, he offered me some ice water he had cached at the next road crossing. Ice water?! My knees were weak at the thought. I definitely took him up on it. Speaking of water, I found myself having to hike off trail for it a few times today. Par for the course lately, but no biggie. A quarter mile here and there is definitely a first world problem, even by thru-hiker standards. That’s like whining about a quarter of an ounce. (Not that some folks don’t do it.)

Staying at Ash Camp tonight. It’s right by the river, flat spots, and a pit toilet. Good enough for me. 10k got there a few minutes before I did. He managed to yogi a ride from a sketchy local. But hey, a ride is a ride is a ride. I was coming down the last switchback and saw the truck drive off. Didn’t realize he was in it until I saw his note a few minutes later. Dang! He came back from the store with dinner for both of us. Cold enchiladas, roast beef sandwich, and a few donuts. Boy, he takes good care of me! Livin’ like kings tonight!

July 3, 2014

Start: Halfmile 1476.0
End: Halfmile 1506.5
Distance: 30.5 + 2.5 = 33.0 Mi
Cumulative: 1,585.0 Mi

The original plan today was to hike to within a few miles of Castella, camp shortly after the last water source, then roll in early tomorrow. 10k got about a two hour head start on me this morning – 515a vs 715a. I figured I’d catch him, but he was cruising all day long. I topped out near the last water and passed a few suitable campsites, all empty. I was hoofing 3 liters in preparation for another night of dry camping. After about the third empty site, I realized he’d gone all the way. I dumped the extra water weight and put my game face on. I had to crush some miles to make it to Ammarati’s before they closed. Got there with about 30 minutes to spare, just in time to get dinner and a few light restock items. No cold mashed potatoes tonight!

Staying at the campground. Can’t beat the $3 hiker rate. We’ll grab breakfast in the morning and mosey out of here around 9a tomorrow. Just in time for a nice, long, hot climb. Ah well, that’s tomorrow’s problem. Tonight I’m fat and happy. Today’s fun fact: I had bacon jerky with nutella for lunch. Just thought you should know.