Location- Winton Canyon Creek
Elevation- 2,687 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 3.5 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1502.2 miles
Weather/Temp- clear 80s 90s
Injuries- sore knees
Pain level- low
Days without shower- 1
Slept in and didn’t leave until about 9:30.
I heard there was a bus that ran between the local towns, but I didn’t know the schedule or the stops. I was able to call the transportation office, and a very nice woman named Amanda stayed on the phone with me for 15 mins as she directed me through the town using Google maps and whatever landmarks in gave her that were near me. She got me to a bus stop 2 mins before the bus arrived! It was a very humorous and unique experience. You don’t meet many people in the phone answering business that are that patient with you these days. I couldn’t thank her enough.
My next problem was that it cost $2.50 to ride the bus to Shasta, and I only had a 20 dollar bill. Big surprise, the bus driver doesn’t make change. In the end, a very nice elderly woman named Cynthia paid for my ride with coins from her purse. We spent the 20 minute bus ride talking about our respective hometowns, as well as my journey. Cynthia helped me get off the bus in Shasta at the closest point to the post office. I’d had a lot of angels today, but there were still more to come.
My care package contained 3 bags of beef jerky (one of my favorite trail snacks), and a McDonald’s gift card (my only source of pre-made sweet tea out here!). Thank you Cindy!
I browsed around a couple of gear shops and had lunch at a pizza place, where I surprisingly only ate the salad bar. I ended up buying a new pair of shoes at one of the gear shops, and running into my fourth angel of the day. The shoes are Altra Lonepeaks, a brand and model that I’ve wanted to try for a long time because of the large toe box and thick cushioning. It was love at first step. I think I may have found my all time favorite trail runner, the search is over.
One of the employees at the gear shop named Shelly offered to give me a ride back to the trail at around 4:15 when she got off. This gave me plenty of time to wander around, resupply food, and make up my mind if I was going to stay another night.
In the end, and despite all the nice people I met in this area, I did not care for the town of Mt. Shasta. It had everything you could ever need; friendly people, nice layout, the view of a lifetime, clean, options for everything, etc. So what was the problem? This place was a zoo. For such a quaint little town, it most definitely had way too many people in it, mostly tourists, there for the giant, gorgeous mountain that the town lay at the foot of. The streets were busy, the sidewalks were busy, and the amount of homeless was staggering. For me, that killed the atmosphere of the town. Some people thrive off activity and bustling groups of people, but it sucks the life out of me. I liked it, I enjoyed myself for a day, but I couldn’t spend any more time than I needed to there. I’ve seen big cities with less activity than that town.
At 4 pm I walked back to the gear shop and caught a ride back to the trail head with Shelly. It was on her way to massage school in Redding, so it was no trouble for her. She has plans to hike the Camino De Santiago in Europe next summer, and I hope she follows through.
I hiked a leisurely 3.5 miles in a little over an hour to a noisy little creek. If all goes according to plan, I’m going attempt a 150 mile stretch before my next resupply, then I’ll be a stones throw from Oregon. I’d like to do this in 4 days if I can, but no more than 5. Nothing is set in stone, so we’ll see what happens…
In other news, I crossed the 1,500 mile mark today. I also met a kid who claimed to have been attacked by a mountain lion in his tent and stalked all night. Real story? I have no idea.