July 8, 2017
Total daily miles: 22.6 miles
Total PCT miles: 1162.9
Start: mile 1547.1
End: mile 1569.8
Total elevation gain/loss: 3470.1/2934.7 ft
Today did not start well. We awoke to a swarm of mosquitoes outside our tent. In my rush to get moving (and away from the blood suckers), I accidentally dumped my Welches strawberry peach drink mix into my chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast drink (instead of instant coffee). The result was horrifically sweet. I attempted to water it down, but it was still horrible. Just my luck. After attempting to swallow a few swigs, I decided to carry it out to the campground that we’d be passing about 10 miles in that reported had a privy that I could dump it into. Leave no trace!
I was happy to have worn my long-sleeved shirt again because we had an exposed morning walk. But exposed means great views! Most of the first 10 miles were flat or downhill, so it should have been pretty easy going. Only problem was that the trail got pretty rocky at times, which slowed me down.
When I got to the campground, I went straight to the privy to dump my horrible breakfast concoction. It was actually starting to coagulate. Gross!
While waiting for Michael, I sat at a picnic table at one of the campsites. The guy at the site next to me asked if I’d like a sandwich. Um… yes! Also, would I like some Coca-Cola? Um… of course! I got to work making my sandwich while chatting with Mark about his travels in his van and where he likes to cycle. Michael soon joined us and couldn’t resist a sandwich either. My breakfast disaster magically had turned into a surprise lunch!
After enjoying our sandwiches it was time for a big climb out of the campground. It was pretty exposed and very hot!
The afternoon views were much like those that we’ve seen the past couple of days. The trail was cut into the side of the mountain and we were treated to expansive views of the valleys and lakes below. I have to admit that I’ve really been surprised at how beautiful this section had been. I never would have imagined that there would be so many lakes out here.
I also encountered a deer that was determined to keep munching her snack alongside the trail. Although I startled her when I rounded the corner, she merely pranced down the trail a bit and then held her ground as I inched closer. I probably got about 20 feet away before she finally decided to head up the hill and away from me.
As with yesterday, we didn’t see very many PCT hikers today (and unlike yesterday we didn’t see any day hikers outside of a couple near the campground). It’s such an odd feeling seeing so many people in town and in the Lassen area and yet so few the last couple of days. Not that I’m complaining though, the solitude had been refreshing.
Our campsite tonight is a protected spot in some trees along a ridge. We heard a few hikers pass by at about 8, but so far it looks like we’ll have it to ourselves. It’s just cool enough for my wool base layer too, which is a nice treat after the last couple weeks of warmer nights.
Michael: sore foot.