Mile 1350.3 to mile 1384.7 (34.4 miles, 55.4 km)
Today was dead flat and I had the opportunity to go long, pushing the miles up just slightly. It was a 13 hour day and I don’t think I could go much further in a day unless it involves walking into the dark. If the terrain in Oregon is similar I will have a cracking pace. We’ll see the border is still about 10-12 days away.
Early on the trail moved past yet more mountain lakes. Stunning scenery but the mozzies were thick and I didn’t linger long. I have seen so many of these lake systems yet never tire of seeing more.
Most of the morning was walking through burn area. Hundreds of acres of burnt trees, zero canopy and standing sticks waiting to fall down. Many standing with what looks like blackened glass. The charcoal sheen must have something to do with the resins in the pines. Photos probably don’t do it justice.
The openings in the canopy did provide more views of Mt Lassen though as the trail moved around north of the peak.
All day it was flat and fast.
Just before lunch I hit a road junction with a small water cache and the mist hilarious trail magic box encountered yet. Obviously placed by someone with a sense of humour. On the outside a message read ‘We are no angels”. The box contained a large bottle of Fireball Rum chained to a tree, a box of condoms, tube of KY and cigars. A couple of of other hikers were there and we each had a shot of some of the remaining rum. I should have grabbed a photo of the box. It was pretty funny in the middle of nowhere and put a smile on everyone’s faces.
Through the afternoon the trail was all in pine plantation so few views but easy walking.
The afternoon was hot! High 30’s for sure (low 90’s F) as I continued onto Old Station. The terrain stayed flat and I was making good time reaching the small roadside stop around 4pm.
I had planned on grabbed on grabbing an early dinner at JJ’s and push on into the evening to get as much distance in on the Hat Creek Rim, a 30 mile exposed, waterless section that was coming up. Unfortunately I’d just missed eating at JJ’s which closed at 3. Neither the less I grabbed what I could from the small selection at the Fill Up, basically a service station and continued on.
Starting the Hat Creek Rim I wanted to get as many miles in as possible in the cooler evening to make tomorrow’s effort easier.
At a car parking area with amazing views of both Mt Lassen and Mt Shasta a caravaner offered some additional water which I gladly took on board.
From Old Station I did another 6 miles, rounding out today’s effort at 34 miles.