Daily Miles: 18
Total Miles: 1348
We had an amazing start to the day today when Chipmunk, the trail angel who was manning the trail magic near where we had slept, walked over to our hammocks with a fresh pot of coffee and a box of donuts. Talk about starting the morning off right! He was such a nice person and we really appreciated the kindness.
We headed out around 6:45am and continued our walk through privately held land. It seems that several paper companies own different tracks of land and that ownership seems to change every quarter mile or so. This morning, one of the tracks of land was being actively logged. There were signs up to warn hikers, but they weren’t cutting right on the trail, so it didn’t affect our walking.
The trail crossed over another branch of the Feather River (our third in the past week). Gazelle was hoping for another chance to swim, but the river was too shallow for that, so we just kept going.
The trail was so quiet today and we didn’t see any other hiker until 3pm…and even then only two sisters all day. The sisters are very quiet, so it still felt like we had the trail to ourselves. This feels quite different than a typical day where we generally see a lot of other hikers.
Near the end of the day, we entered Lassen Volcanic National Park, our third national park of the trail (we went through King’s Canyon & Sequoia NP and Yosemite NP so far). We have been seeing Mount Lassen for about four days now and we are finally in the park. The mountain often looms large in our views with it’s snow covered peak.
We decided to take a short side trail to a geyser that was just a third of a mile off trail. It was called Terminal Geyser and was pretty cool. You mostly just saw the huge amounts of steam coming out of a big hole, but you could also see the water nearby boiling. We all decided it was worth the extra walking to see.
We ended the day at Drakesbad Guest Ranch. We had to pick up a resupply box and decided to get dinner, showers and laundry while we were there. There were ten hikers there for dinner, which consisted of the leftovers from the set menu served to the ranch guests. We had chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, mushroom raviolis and salad. They even randomly brought out a tray of corn dogs. The food was quite good and we got to eat a good amount.
For desert, it was our fortune that our friend Proton (who is currently 3 days ahead of us) came through Drakesbad too early to pick up a package of baked goods from his mom. So he told us about the box and we retrieved it and enjoyed the brownies and cookies with the other hikers. It was really sweet of his mom to make all the goodies for him.
After desert, we headed down the road back towards the PCT. We have set up camp at a trailhead which is perfect. Lots of good hammock and tent spots, a faucet and a privy! What more could we ask for? We stayed at Drakesbad a bit late, so we set up camp in the dark…first time on the trail for that. It is already quite cold here in the valley next to the river. Looks like it is going to be a really cold night.