Location- Top of ridge
Elevation- 4,751 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 29.1 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1,379.2 miles
Weather/Temp- clear 100+ degrees
Pain level- low
Days without shower- 2
Great day, but I’m annoyed with myself because I thought I had over 30 miles when I made camp. Then I checked my gps map and realized I fell less than a mile short. Such is life…and my poor math skills.
California has been in the throes of a brutal heat wave the last few days, and from about mid morning until early evening it was well over 100 degrees. Tomorrow is slated to get up to 106, and I still have about 26 miles of waterless trail to hike with only 6 liters. I’m going to have to make myself get up early.
It was actually very cold this morning next to the creek, so I didn’t get hiking until 8. I was too comfy and bundled up to move.
The trail was very mild today, but extremely hot and very exposed. Most of what I hiked through was burnt out forest, providing no cover from the sun. On top of that, there was zero breeze today. I felt drained and like I was dragging for most of the day’s hike. I don’t know how I edged out nearly 30 miles before dark with all my short breaks; I guess I’m moving faster than I thought.
I caught some kind of garter snake or racer early this morning. It’s the first non rattlesnake I’ve seen since the desert. That was as exciting as my day got. The rest was just sweating it out in the sun.
By 3:30 I had over 20 miles and reached a dirt road that led into the town of Old Station. A half mile detour put me at a roadside convenience store where I had 2 Gatorade, 2 sweet teas, 1 Root Beer, and an ice-cream cookie sandwich. After that I slipped back onto the trail, cruised another 4 miles, hit a highway and detoured another half mile to a restaurant called JJ’s Cafe where I ate a pulled pork omelette for dinner. After eating and filling up on 6 liters of water, I hit the old dusty trail again and did a little less than 5 miles before stopping at a gorgeous overlook.
From the top of this ridge, I can see Mt. Shasta, more than a 100 miles away by trail. The sunset was gorgeous, and I got to watch the light fade behind Shasta from the comfort of my perch. I’ll put some pictures up of my current view…
Mt. Shasta is way in the background, you can barely see it.
View from my hammock. Shasta in the distance.
My footprint tracking game has gotten intense. There is one set of footprints that I’ve been tracking for nearly 100 miles now, but I can’t put a face to the print. They keep showing up, so they must be just ahead of me, but alas they never go off trail or into town. Regardless, they are close enough that their footprints haven’t been trampled beyond recognition and lost in the melee of other prints. It’s a very unique tread pattern that I’ve never seen before. I took a picture to post on here, but no face to go with it…yet. The hunt continues.
I walked through a bunch of cows at the end of the day too. They’re not far off from where I’m camped.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day!