Daily Miles: 17
Total Miles: 1384
This morning started off nice for SweetPea, because Gazelle made her a cup of hot coffee. They had made a trade of food (cereal for coffee), since SweetPea is getting sick of her daily cereal.
After coffee, we headed out towards the town of Old Station. We headed straight for JJ’s Cafe for breakfast. We were all excited to see that they had wifi, as it was the first wifi since Lake Tahoe. We were able to update our blog and download some podcasts to listen to on the trail.
We ended staying at the cafe so long that we were hungry again for lunch. So, we all ordered a second meal. The food was really good at the cafe and the folks were really nice.
On our way back to the trail, we took a detour to walk through a geological site called Subway Cave. It was a pretty cool tunnel which was quite tall and wide. It was maybe a quarter mile long and had interesting features caused by volcanic eruptions in the past. The air was really cold in the tunnel, which felt great compared to the heat outside.
Finally, we continued onto the PCT. we had planned for a mid-afternoon start of the next section of trail called Hat Creek Rim. This section is notable for being very hot and exposed, with a 20+ mile waterless stretch. We figured it would be best to start this section with some miles hiked in the cool evening, and then an early start tomorrow.
A few miles into the climb up to the rim, we came across a viewpoint which is accessible by car. We had great views of Mount Lassen, in addition to our first views of Mount Shasta. At the viewpoint, we met Martin, who had hiked the PCT over two years in the mid-80’s. He was really excited to see us out hiking the trail.
The rest of the afternoon was quite warm and we sweated more than we had in a really long time. We managed to find a tree with a small patch of shade and all crowded in the shade in order to get a bit of a break from the intensity of the sun.
Shortly before the end of the day, we came to the last water source for 20ish miles. We decided that since it was 1/3 mile off the trail, Beardoh and MountainMan would get the water for everyone while Gazelle and SweetPea would hike ahead to find a campsite. The trail down to the water source turned out to be really steep, so getting the water was a real effort.
The temps this evening have been great as we hung out at camp having dinner and chatting. Tonight is turning into a late night, since we hiked later into the evening than normal. We are setting our alarms for the first time in awhile, so we get up at 5am tomorrow. We want to be able to hike more in the cool morning tomorrow, as the trail will continue to be hot and exposed.