Pacific Crest Trail – Day 64 (34 miles)
Another day on Hat Creek Rim.
I got up at 5 am. The sun was just coming up. Only a couple of weeks ago the sun was already in the sky at 5 am. I’ll be fighting this losing battle for the remainder of the year!
I set off and settled into a fast pace. It was a 20-mile dry section and I wanted to get through before the day heats up.
The scenery has not changed at all since yesterday afternoon. I’m still walking on the edge of the rim, with low scrubland to my right and a big, basalt filled valley to my right and Mt Shasta ahead ever growing in size.
13 miles into the day I passed a group of hikers I briefly met yesterday. To mitigate the long waterless section, they night-hiked over 10 miles while I slept.
One of them decided to stretch his legs and hike with me until the next road 15 miles away.
We walked at a quick pace and chatted the whole time. He is a waiter when off the trail. I still don’t accept the logic behind tipping, so I bombard him with questions regarding its practice and benefit to the industry. I’m still not convinced.
We hike on, the scenery not changing. Eventually, I look at my maps and realise that I had hiked over 20 miles before noon. Not a bad mornings work!
We stopped at the first water source, filling our water bottles and our stomachs.
After almost an hour break, we continued on a couple of miles to the road he wanted into the town of Burney.
I continued. I looked at the clock and was keen to get to Burney Falls State Park early, as this is where I would get a package from Pocket Rocket, who I hiked with for 1000 miles in 2015, and was wonderful enough to send me some home dried fruit, vegetables and baked brownies!
With about 7 miles to go, I come upon Bridge Spring Cash, were a couple of locals maintain a cooler for us.
When I was drinking some of their lemonade, they showed up to refill. They invited me and two other hikers there back to their place for beer and pizza. I wanted to get to Burney Falls but could not say no to their generosity.
When I was there, we eat a generous serving of pizza and consumed a few beers. Very quickly I started to feel uncomfortable. I asked for a lift back to the trail, and they shook my request off saying I should stay a bit longer and to have another beer. After my asking for a third time, I finally got a lift back to the trail.
I now had 7 miles to do in a little over an hour to make it to Burney Falls General Store before it closes. I began to run, but it did not go well. I felt sluggish, tired and my stomach was a bit too full.
It was not the easiest miles I’ve completed on this trip, even though it was dead flat, but I got to the store 10 minutes before it closed. I picked up Pocket Rocket’s box, looked inside to see glorious cous cous, brownies, dried strawberries and zucchini.
I purchased a few additional things to make the 80 miles to Dunsmuir and then went off to set up camp.
I ate the brownies as I fell asleep.