Man, I could get used to 18 mile days. I think today is one of the shortest non-resupply days I have done in awhile.
Woke up at 5:15am to turn my alarm off. Woke up at 7:00am to the sound of multiple chainsaws. There was a powerline across the highway and it looked like they were clearing trees and brush below it. Texas Poo and Soulshine came out of their tents wondering what was going on. Happy Feet was gone already and Lightning Rod was just getting up.
I thought about having breakfast at the restaurant but didn’t want to wait around for them to open at 8:00am.
Walked a couple miles up the trail and could tell already that I should have gotten up at 5:00am and started walking. The trail had about 5000 feet of elevation gain and a lot of it was exposed to the sun.
A couple of miles in I stopped at Indian Creek and made oatmeal for breakfast. Lightning Rod showed up a bit later. I then wanted to lighten my load even more so I made some Mountain House lasagne. “Thumbs Down” as Tom Scharpling would say. It was a bit bland.
I climbed and climbed for most of the day, stopping nearly at every single creek to dunk myself or at least my head.
The gnats were a bit bad at the lower elevation so I was swinging one of my trekking poles around so the strap would brush up against my face and shoot them away. Unfortunately I was ignoring the other end of the pole and smacked myself in the balls.
Got to the first crossing of Chips Creek and there was a nice swimming hole there. The four of us hung out and ate lunch. I mentioned all the gnats during the climb and my incident.
“A tree punched me in the dick yesterday”, said Soulshine. He missed a branch that was hanging over the trail and was unpleasantly stopped in his tracks.
On the lighter side, Souldshine told me that he ran into Roadrunner at the trailhead near Belden this morning. It was in fact her watch and she was excited to get it back.
I continued on by myself and was having trouble getting motivated again. I put on some music, Mr. Bowie and had the line about “So I lay down awhile and gaze at my hotel wall”. I really need to do that in Dunsmuir.
Got to the top of the climb around 7000 feet and all the brush and oak trees had disappeared…I was back in forest. I could see Mt. Lassen, it was a bit bigger than it was yesterday. I was excited to see it since it is the bottom mountain in the Cascade Mountains.
Cell service up there was three bars so I ended up spending about 90 minutes there uploading photos to the blog and reading email. I could have had the last three days of the blog updated, but I wanted to have more photos up there. I like having more photos per day for each entry even if it is a time (and battery draining) pain.
Texas Poo and Soulshine came by and asked if I was camping at Cold Spring. I looked at the time and it looked like I only had about five miles of daylight left, so I said yes. It will mean I’ll have to make up a few miles so I can get to Old Station on Friday still.
The last couple of hours of the day made for a really nice walk. The sun was getting ready to set and the light looked good everywhere for photos. I stopped at one point about a mile from Cold Spring and heard something off in the trees…it was a huge bear. I got my camera out and was able to get a little bit of video of it running off.
Got to the spring about 8:30pm. I remember this spring from 1996 now. It is a big green field surrounded by a cool split rail fence. The fence is to keep animals out of the field so the spring can stay cleaner. Down from the field is a pipe going up and doing a u-turn and then pointing down. Water is coming out of it pretty fast into a trough.
Made dinner and now it is time for bed.