Day 95 (20180703): 1906.2-1943.4

I am not sure I can even begin to describe how frustrating today was, this was of course because of mosquitos. From lunch onward they seemed to be ever present.

The day started great I had slept surprisingly well despite being woken by trains a few times. This morning I was in no rush as I only had a short walk to the resort and my breakfast which opened at 7. Because of this I did not start packing till just before 6.

 Shelter Cove in the morning

Shelter Cove in the morning

The morning was very cold which was tough as I was sitting outside waiting for the restaurant to open.

When the restaurant opened I ordered a breakfast burrito and 3 pancakes, it was all delicious. After this I packed up my stuff and headed back to the trail. I started heading back around 0750.

 One of the many lakes of the day, this one was luckily mosquito free

One of the many lakes of the day, this one was luckily mosquito free

Once on the trail it was pretty much all forest all day which was bad for a couple of reasons. For one no views. But much worse lots of mosquitos. Today was especially bad as it was an area with a lot of lakes.

 Another beautiful lake

Another beautiful lake

I did not manage to find a mosquito free spot for lunch so that was fun.

After lunch the mosquitos seemed to get worse and worse. My bug net keeps them off my face and my bug spray mostly keeps them off my legs. The problem is that everywhere my shirt is tight against my body they land and bite through. This is especially problematic around shoulders and hips.

 Big burn area

Big burn area

 My mosquito face

My mosquito face

They are bad when walking but even worse while stopped so sometimes I just feel like running away screaming. I hope it gets better in Washington and I am doing what I can to get to Cascade Locks as fast as possible while eating at all the resorts.

 Yet another lake in mosquito land

Yet another lake in mosquito land

Tomorrow I plan to go to Elk Lake Resort for lunch. I am only 10 miles away so I will probably be there way before lunch. The restaurant does not open until 11 so I am forced to wait.

As I am in my bivy writing this there is what seems to be 50-100 mosquitos swarming outside.

Day 94 (20180702): 1865.9-1906.2

Today I made it to Shelter Cove Resort which had my next resupply box. I made it there earlier than expected despite some snow on the way

I was a bit late in getting started in the morning so it was almost 0610 before I started hiking. The mosquitos that plagued me in the evening were not nearly as bad in the morning.

 Shelter Cove in the morning

Shelter Cove in the morning

For Oregon the day actually brought a surprising amount of elevation change and two relatively big climbs.

 One of the better views of the day

One of the better views of the day

Again there was a lot of hiking in forest but it opened up often enough to provide good views.

 One of the many lakes

One of the many lakes

While hiking between breakfast and lunch I started feeling quite weak at one point. I am pretty sure it was due to lack of calories. My breakfast is only 400 calories and then I usually have 2 bars until lunch. I think I need to up this to 3 bars.

After the last climb the trail stayed around 7000 ft for a few miles and here I had to walk on quite some snow. The most snow I have had to walk on in weeks at least.

 Quite a lot of snow just before Shelter Cove

Quite a lot of snow just before Shelter Cove

 I actually had to walk on snow again

I actually had to walk on snow again

 Yet more snow

Yet more snow

The final descent to Shelter Cove Resort was easy and surprisingly mosquito free. I arrived just before 19 and just managed to order some food at the restaurant.

I also collected my resupply from the store. This means I can actually continue hiking in the morning without going back. Despite this my current plan is to go back and get breakfast since the restaurant opens at 7.

I camped outside to resort at a campsite next to the railroad tracks. Let's see how that works out for me.

It was quite cold today, I am not sure if it is because I am getting further north or just daily variances.

I also heard that Pathfinder is 8 miles ahead or so. Depending on his speed I might catch him.

I am currently carrying a lot of food, probably enough to get me to Cascade Locks especially since there are a few places coming up where I can get food:

Elk Lake Resort in 45 miles

Big Lake Youth Camp in 90 miles

Olallie Lake in 140 miles

Timberline Lodge in 190 miles

Finally Cascade Locks is in 240 miles

Day 93 (20280701): 1820.9-1865.9

I feel like I am going crazy because of the mosquitos. They were not present during the entire day but towards the end of the day they were brutal.

As usual the milage in the title is the PCT milage. Today it is not very close to the distance I walked as a fire closure had me walking the beautiful Rim Trail around Crater Lake.

 One of my first views of Crater Lake

One of my first views of Crater Lake

I started a bit earlier than usual and sadly once again my quilt was a bit damp in the morning. I packed up everything and used the restrooms on the campground and filled my water bottles.

 The very obvious selfie had to take at Crater Lake

The very obvious selfie had to take at Crater Lake

I hiked back to the PCT and started the hike up to Rim Village where I was catching the Rim Trail. This trail is an alternate to the PCT near Crater Lake that is very popular as it gives great views of Crater Lake for much of the trail. This year I was forced to take it as the PCT was closed due to fire damage from last year.

 Crater Lake

Crater Lake

I had a bit of trouble with mosquitos just before the Rim Village but they disappeared as I reached more open space. The Rim Village Cafe was closed. I went to the lookout before starting the Rim Trail. The Rim Trail was very beautiful but quite strenuous compared to the Oregon I am used to.

 Crater Lake

Crater Lake

 Crater Lake

Crater Lake

I took a lot of pictures of Crater Lake and it's amazingly blue water.

 A well maintained part of the Rim Trail

A well maintained part of the Rim Trail

 Rim Trail had a bit of snow near Watchman

Rim Trail had a bit of snow near Watchman

 Crater Lake

Crater Lake

 Me at a lookout over Crater Lake

Me at a lookout over Crater Lake

 Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Once I returned to the PCT the trail was easier if not for the many fallen trees. Still I managed to make decent progress.

I managed to find a somewhat bug free spot for lunch and dried out my bivy and quilt.

Not long after lunch I started a climb up Mt. Thielsen, the PCT does not go to the peak and after a junction to the peak the trail descended to the first water source in 26 miles.

 Mt Thielsen

Mt Thielsen

After this source the trail climbed slowly to the highest point on the PCT in Oregon and Washington. I planned on camping near a junction after descending. This descend was horrible because of the mosquitos.

 Highest point on the PCT in Oregon and Washington

Highest point on the PCT in Oregon and Washington

As usual at camp I am nearly driven crazy by the constantly attacking mosquitos. Since I do not have a full tent I cannot really eat under bug netting. This makes my evenings quite unpleasant.

These bugs are making me want to hurry up and finish Oregon. Since I am doing 40+ miles on my full days I guess I am doing what I can.

Tomorrow I plan to camp close to Shelter Cove Resort and then head in there the day after to pickup my resupply. I cannot really get there tomorrow before they close as even the trail junction is 41 miles away.

Day 92 (20180630): 1793.6-1820.9

Today I made it to Mazama Village in Crater National Park. I made it there quite early but decided to stay the night as camping in national parks usually has all kinds of restrictions.

I woke a bit before 0530 to a lot of mosquitos on my bivy. I managed to change my clothes inside my bivy and I was not bothered too much by the mosquitos in the morning.

 One of the nice views of the day

One of the nice views of the day

Before getting started I applied my anti mosquito spray and donned my bug net.

 Not a big fan of hiking in mosquito areas

Not a big fan of hiking in mosquito areas

The hiking today was generally quite easy and luckily the mosquitos disappeared further up the trail.

 Nice open area before the constant forest started

Nice open area before the constant forest started

A few times during the day I had some good views but most of the day was spent in forests.

 Snow! 

Snow! 

I managed to find a mostly mosquito free place for lunch which was nice since I also needed to dry out my quilt and bivy.

The trail was very easy for the entire day which made hiking effortless.

 Large burn area before Mazama Village

Large burn area before Mazama Village

Around 15 I arrived at the highway that leads to Mazama Village in Crater National Park where I was going to collect a package.

I ended up deciding to stay the night at the campground. I always regret decisions like that as I do not know what to do in the evening. This night I especially regretted it as other hikers kept talking right next to my bivy past 22. As most other hikers they were also smoking weed. I do not mind people smoking weed if it was not for the fact that the smell was very strong in my bivy.

 Surprisingly good dish at Mazama Village

Surprisingly good dish at Mazama Village

Day 91 (20180629): 1755.2-1793.6

Today was not a great day, the hiking was quite boring without many views and the last half had serious mosquito problems.

I started as usual around 6 and as I was leaving camp the other people were mostly still fast asleep.

 Sun poking through the trees in the early morning

Sun poking through the trees in the early morning

The hiking today was generally easy but also quite boring. Mostly there was a lack of views due to the forests.

 Canada is getting closer

Canada is getting closer

As I reached the side trail to Fish Lake Resort around lunch time i decided to go there for lunch. I had burger and fries together with pie for dessert.

 Some of the first lava fields in Oregon

Some of the first lava fields in Oregon

 More lava fields today

More lava fields today

As I got back on trail after Fish Lake Resort there was a bit of climbing and apparently this section of trail has a lot of mosquitos. The worst mosquitos on trail for me so far. At any given time there would be 10 on my shoulder and they would constantly land on my hands. They continued to be a problem for the rest of the day and I had to hurry in camp with my chores to not be eaten alive. Now I really wish I had a tent that would provide me with more bug free space.

 Mt McLaughlin I believe

Mt McLaughlin I believe

I am not sure what I will do for lunch tomorrow if the mosquitos are as bad.

 Mosquito fun

Mosquito fun

Tomorrow I will make it to Mazama Village. I have not decided if I will camp there for the night or just resupply. It will probably depend on when I get there.

Day 90 (20180628): 1717.7-1755.2

Today I left Ashland and after heading east for a while actually started heading north towards Canada.

I got up around 6 and packed up everything so I could head for the hotel's breakfast at 7. I obviously also took a shower. As soon as I was done with breakfast the taxi arrived so I checked out and headed back to the trail.

Back near the trail I met Phoenix who I had last met in the Sierra. He was heading in to Ashland. I started hiking at 0750.

As I wrote above I started out by walking further east where I caught some last views of Mount Shasta. Finally the trail turned north.

 Nice easy trail in the beginning of the day

Nice easy trail in the beginning of the day

There were quite some water carries but I had had so much water at the hotel that I ended up pouring 1.5 liter out as I would not be needing it.

I took a short break for lunch and had some leftover snacks from town and a Coke I had packed out.

The trail was really easy and I decided to go to a spring with campsites at 1755. The only climb of the day was in the end but this was very gradual. If the rest of Oregon is as easy then it will be quite the change from northern California.

 There was a lot of hiking in forest

There was a lot of hiking in forest

At the campsite there were a bunch of other hikers camped but I managed to find a spot. As usual in groups there is a strong smell of weed which I am not really a fan of. That might be another reason I prefer to hike alone since weed is very prevalent in trail.

 A dam I passed at the end of the day

A dam I passed at the end of the day

I have not decided my camp for tomorrow nor have I decided if I am going to Fish Lake Resort for food. I might already have too much food but I guess I will decide as I get to the spur trail around lunch. The resort is 2 miles off trail.

Day 89 (20180627): Zero in Ashland

Today was my zero day in Ashland. I had done most of what I needed to do in town yesterday, so I did not have many necessary tasks.

As usual in town and on trail I woke early. I spent some time on my phone waiting for the hotel breakfast to start.

The main attraction of Ashland is Oregon Shakespeare Festival. During the morning I decided I would catch a showing as I was here. I decided on Othello at 1330.

Before the showing I went to the center of town to browse the gear stores. One of the gear stores is staffed by former thru hikers and I spent some time talking to one of them. I also bought some insect repellent that does not contain deet. Deet is generally bad for you and also destroys a lot of synthetic fabrics. Oregon has a reputation for bad bugs so I figure it is best to be prepared.

Before the Shakespeare show I got some lunch.

The theatre show was really interesting since I have not watched any theatre since childhood theatre shows.

Afterwards I picked up some dinner and relaxed while watching TV in my room.

I have also heard there might be some snow coming up in Oregon. Hopefully it will not be too bad. Washington also has some snow right now but that should mostly be gone by the time I get there.

In Oregon there are some dry stretches coming up. To make these easier to manage while hiking I have noted the milages of reliable water sources for the entire state.

I have already bought resupply for most of the state except the last 100 miles. I will buy that resupply in Olallie Lake Resort.

Looking at my resupply plan it is easily seen that Oregon is really short. Also I do not plan to go in to any towns so unless there are some bad conditions I expect to be in Cascade Locks very quickly, probably within 14 days.

Tomorrow I have booked a taxi to take me back to the trail leaving at 0730. This should give me just enough time to get breakfast at the hotel before leaving.

Day 88 (20180626): 1708.2-1717.7 Heading to Ashland

Today was a rather short day as I had camped about 10 miles from Ashland which was my destination for today.

I woke up to a nice sunrise in the Grouse Gap Shelter on the hard concrete floor. As usual I started hiking around 6. First I had to hike back to the trail from the shelter.

 The shelter I spent the night in

The shelter I spent the night in

Once back on the trail I periodically had to deal with a lot of brush. Besides the brush the trail was easy as it was generally downhill all the way. Like the previous many days I occasionally had views of Mount Shasta initially to the South and then to the Southwest.

 Mount Shasta visible in the early morning light

Mount Shasta visible in the early morning light

As I got to the road to Ashland I headed to Callahan's Lodge and ordered a taxi to Ashland. I initially headed to a shopping center with a laundromat and did my laundry. While doing laundry I called my hotel and inquired about the availability of my room. They promised to call me back when it was ready.

After laundry I headed to The Great American Pizza for lunch. While there my room became available so I headed there after lunch.

I exploded my pack and took a shower. I also quickly took stock of my remaining food and then caught a bus to downtown where the post office is located. I collected my new shoes and went to Safeway to do my resupply.

This was my biggest resupply yet as I was resupplying for 11 days spread over four places as I would be sending boxes to three different places from here.

 The big resupply I did in Ashland for most of Oregon and even one location in Washington

The big resupply I did in Ashland for most of Oregon and even one location in Washington

I caught the bus back to the hotel and started organizing the resupply. Mainly this consisted of unboxing all the bars but also repackaging trail mix and some crackers. Then I roughly divided it out to the different destinations based on miles. This was a bit difficult as one package is going to Washington and the rest to Oregon so I do not know exactly how many miles I will do a day.

I headed to the UPS store and shipped the packages. On the way back I got steak for dinner.

Once back in my room I cleaned some stuff and then just relaxed

Day 87 (20180625): 1670.7-1708.2

Today I finally entered a new state. The day did prove more taxing than expected though.

 View from my camp in the morning, I was last to arrive and first to leave

View from my camp in the morning, I was last to arrive and first to leave

I started as usual around 6 and immediately started climbing. The climbing was pretty easy in the cool morning temperatures. After the initial climb there was some up and down until the trail descended just before the Oregon border.

 I spent quite some time walking through a recently burned area

I spent quite some time walking through a recently burned area

 I came upon some big open areas where Mount Shasta was visible

I came upon some big open areas where Mount Shasta was visible

On the way down I stopped for lunch and refilled water. I was not consuming a lot of water because it was very cool.

 Shortly before the Oregon border I passed through a beautiful meadow

Shortly before the Oregon border I passed through a beautiful meadow

I then climbed towards the Oregon border and passed a small hut on the way. Reaching the border was exciting and signs showing less than 1000 miles to the Canadian border were posted.

 The Oregon border with signs showing the distance to the Washington and the Canadian border

The Oregon border with signs showing the distance to the Washington and the Canadian border

 I obviously had to get a selfie

I obviously had to get a selfie

Entering Oregon I continued climbing and actually there were two rather big climbs remaining before Grouse Gap where I wanted to camp.

 A particular beautiful part of the days hiking in Oregon. There seems to be a lot of green now

A particular beautiful part of the days hiking in Oregon. There seems to be a lot of green now

The climbs and descents took some time but were not too taxing.

Arriving at the shelter I met some trail maintainers who offered me dinner which I accepted. I joined them and we talked a bit about the trail.

I setup camp inside the shelter.

Most of the day I had views of Mount Shasta from different angles. I am now more or less North of it.

Tomorrow I plan to start at my usual time as I only have 11 miles to the road to Ashland.

4

Day 86 (20180624): 1634.7-1670.7

I knew today was going to be tough but it was much tougher than expected mostly due to the heat.

I got up very early today as I wanted to get to Seiad Cafe around or before noon. So I started hiking at 0435. This is much earlier than my normal start time and not something I am looking to adopt. Surprisingly it was actually not very cold even that early.

 Sun below the mountains in the darkness

Sun below the mountains in the darkness

Starting out I had to wear my headlamp as it was very dark. Soon I started seeing beautiful colors in the sky as the sun was just below the mountains in the horizon. The darkness did make my hiking a bit slower.

 Let's play spot the trail. Sometimes the trail can be very overgrown

Let's play spot the trail. Sometimes the trail can be very overgrown

The first 14 miles of the day was mostly downhill on overgrown trail in the forest. It was very humid and stuffy which did not make for enjoyable hiking. Also at one point the trail was so overgrown that I like many others missed a turn.

 Roadwalking to Seiad Valley

Roadwalking to Seiad Valley

After 14 miles I arrived at a campground and the last 6.5 miles to Seiad Valley was roadwalking. This was very fast but as always also very boring.

 I joined a paved road next to the river and had to do quite the detour to cross the river on the highway bridge

I joined a paved road next to the river and had to do quite the detour to cross the river on the highway bridge

Seiad Valley is a very small place with a store, post office and a Cafe all in the same building. This was fine for me and I went straight to the Cafe. I was here just before 11 which meant I could have breakfast which the Cafe is most famous for. I had an omelette, 2 pancakes, Soda and a milkshake. This was all very delicious.

I also know I did not drink enough on the way down to Seiad Valley as I did not even drink 2 L in the 21 miles. I guess that is why I had so much to drink at the Cafe.

 I had a lot of food at the Cafe!

I had a lot of food at the Cafe!

After the meal at the Cafe I went to the store. I actually had more or less enough food calorie. But I kinda needed 2 breakfasts and 1 dinner which I bought together with a juice and a soda. I drank the juice straight away and brought the soda with me for the climb.

Today was a very hot day which was bad news as I had a big steep climb leaving Seiad Valley. The climb is 4700 ft in 7 miles and quite exposed. When I started the climb it was 1230 and probably around 32 degrees. This was not really optimal conditions for the climb.

 Selfie during the climb in my very sweat soaked state

Selfie during the climb in my very sweat soaked state

Once I started the climb I almost instantly completely soaked my shirt with sweat. I normally hike without breaks but for this climb I decided to take breaks and force myself to drink at every break. I had a break roughly every 1000 ft but in some sections every time there was shade.

 Hmm a fire, that is bad luckily it was quickly put out

Hmm a fire, that is bad luckily it was quickly put out

Not long after I started my climb I heard a siren and saw smoke in the distance. Apparently a fire had started. Quickly two helicopters arrived to help and they seemed to quickly get it under control.

 Still some smoke

Still some smoke

Once the big climb was over there was 3 smaller climbs before the final descent to a road, campsites and a spring which is where I wanted to camp. This stretch was not too bad.

 Mount Shasta still visible

Mount Shasta still visible

When I arrived there were two other tents there already. I claimed a spot and went to the spring where I immediately drank half a liter of water.

The site had a lot of mosquitos so I hurried with dinner and filtering water. Meanwhile I spoke a bit with the other hikers.

Tomorrow I do not have to make it a certain distance. I just have to arrive in Ashland the day after which is when I have booked my room from. I am eyeing a shelter 39 miles from here but it depends on the conditions tomorrow. That would leave me just 10 miles from the road to Ashland which will give me a lot of time in town. Since I am zeroing I do but really need to arrive that early.

Day 85 (20180623): 1599.7-1634.7

Today I decided to change my plans and leave Etna in the morning instead of the afternoon. With this I want to pass Seiad Valley tomorrow.

I slept in the hiker hut and had some problems falling asleep. Once I fell asleep I slept rather well but as always I woke up rather early.

In the morning I had some breakfast that I had bought day before. After breakfast I mostly relaxed and used the WiFi until the hitch back to the trail around 8.

 Before entering a big burn area there were green trees everywhere

Before entering a big burn area there were green trees everywhere

I started hiking at 0845 and wanted to do about 35 miles which would put me about 20 miles from Seiad Valley.

 For a lot of miles I was walking in a burn area. This is always quite sad

For a lot of miles I was walking in a burn area. This is always quite sad

The day was lovely with a bit of wind at times which kept the temperatures down.

 I passed a few lakes like this one

I passed a few lakes like this one

Mostly I had really good views as the trail was going along mountainsides. I can now also easily see that I am really getting to the Pacific Northwest. Everything is quite green. The trail did have quite some rocks at times though.

 Mount Shasta just visible in the distance

Mount Shasta just visible in the distance

Once again I encountered a bit of snow but I could mostly avoid stepping on it.

 Snow! I had to cross a bit of snow today hopefully this is not going to be a common occurrence

Snow! I had to cross a bit of snow today hopefully this is not going to be a common occurrence

With the miles I am doing now I find I have to stop more often for water. Today I stopped twice. Luckily there have been no long water carries so I just carry 2 liters.

There was no really big climb or descent today but a lot of smaller ones. Tomorrow I will start the day with a long descent and then after Seiad Valley I have a very steep climb.

I might get up early tomorrow to get to Seiad Valley as early as possible. I want to make sure I get there no later than 14 as that is when the Cafe closes.

I have decided to replace my shoes in Ashland and use one more pair after that. This is because I remembered that people normally only use trail runners for 500-600 miles and mine will have more than 600 by then. Also other hikers in Etna recommended the same.

Day 84 (20180622): 1573.8-1599.7

Today I wanted to head in to Etna if possible but was open to skipping it if hitching was too difficult.

 One of the advantages of an early start is obviously the sunrises

One of the advantages of an early start is obviously the sunrises

I set my alarm for 0500 which is 30 minutes earlier than usual because I wanted to get to Etna early if I was going. I started hiking just after 0530.

 Hiking along the trail early in the morning can be quite wonderful

Hiking along the trail early in the morning can be quite wonderful

The day started with a descent followed by a climb. Once this was done the rest of the day was up and down. Some of the climbs were quite steep which made the day more difficult than I had expected.

 Mount Shasta visible behind the valleys

Mount Shasta visible behind the valleys

For the first time in a long time I also saw snow on trail and even had to walk on maybe 40 ft of it.

 Mount Shasta makes for a nice background, this lake was visible from the highpoint before the descent to the road to Etna

Mount Shasta makes for a nice background, this lake was visible from the highpoint before the descent to the road to Etna

Most of the day I only met a few hikers. However on the final descent to the road to Etna I met a big group of hikers. The entire group was part of a christian camp.

As I arrived at the road I waited for a bit without seeing any cars pass. Then luckily one of the people with the Christian group was driving to Etna in a UHaul truck and gave me a ride. All in all I waited maybe 10 minutes.

 The hut I stayed in

The hut I stayed in

Once in town I called the motel to enquire about a room but they had none available. This is probably due to a music festival tomorrow. I instead went to the Hiker Hut and got a bed in the dorm room. One of the owners is Danish and it was very strange to suddenly speak Danish.

 The Danish flag made me feel at home

The Danish flag made me feel at home

I started my laundry, took a shower and then went to the grocery store for snacks and drinks.

Then I spoke a bit with the other hikers and went to dinner with two of them. We went to a distillery where I had some fries and a good but small pizza.

I also met Snacks and Spikes who I had thought were ahead of me by a few days. They had apparently arrived in town earlier in the day.

I am currently trying to decide when to go back to the trail tomorrow.

4627

Day 82 (20180620): 1501.3-1531.3

Today it was time to head back on trail after two nights in Mt Shasta. Mt Shasta was a bit smaller than I had expected but I had a nice enough time.

For the first time in a long time I was not out of bed until after 6. It was quite nice to sleep in like that. I took my time in the morning as I would not be heading back to the trail until around 10.

For breakfast I went to a coffee place I had not been to yet, Yaks, and had some granola, a smoothie and a scone. In also packed out a bagel for lunch.

One of the reasons for going to Yaks was that it had WiFi. Sadly I never got it to work. Luckily I had already done most of my blogging.

A bit before 10 I got a message from my ride and I waited outside. On the ride back he told me to make sure to head past Porcupine Lake which is where I had planned to camp.

 After climbing a bit I started to get done good views of the forested surroundings

After climbing a bit I started to get done good views of the forested surroundings

I was back on trail at 1010 and started on the 30 miles I had planned. The 30 miles included a lot of climbing but I was confident I could make before it turned dark.

 Amongst the very green landscape some rocky mountains easily stood out

Amongst the very green landscape some rocky mountains easily stood out

Compared to the trail before I-5 the views were a lot better which made the hiking more fun.

I only had a very brief stop for lunch and really enjoyed my bagel. Packing out town food is something I might just have to repeat.

 I eventually saw Mount Shasta again but was more moving directly away from it

I eventually saw Mount Shasta again but was more moving directly away from it

Once the big climb was over there was still a lot of up and down but nothing that caused issues. The trail was very rocky in sections but again nothing too bad.

 There were still some forest sections in between the mountainside sections

There were still some forest sections in between the mountainside sections

In the afternoon a lot of dark clouds started to appear. I even had a bit of rain but it ended quickly enough that I did not bother with rain gear.

I made it to Porcupine Lake around 1930 and met a mother and daughter camped there on an overnighter.

 Porcupine Lake where I camped

Porcupine Lake where I camped

I setup my tarp since there were quite a few clouds. The bivy is used every night now because of the mosquitos.

I want to get to the road to Etna in the afternoon the day after tomorrow. This requires me to do at least 40 miles tomorrow which leaves me around 30 miles from the road to Etna. I have decided I am going to try to hitch for a while. If I do not get a hitch I have enough food to make it to Seiad Valley.


Day 81 (20180619): Zero in Mt Shasta

Today was my zero day in Mt Shasta. As usual on zero days I get very restless as there is not much to do.

For once I actually did not wake up at 5 but slept past 6, which must mean I slept rather well. I did enjoy the bed here which is a lot firmer than in a lot of hotels.

I went to the Seven Suns for breakfast and had an excellent burrito.

Following breakfast I mostly just relaxed in my bedroom while making some notes on the rest of my hike. This included the resupply stops for the rest of the trail and especially where to send packages.

I also ordered new shoes for delivery in Ashland. I expect these to be my last pair of shoes for the trail and will send them to Shelter Cove Resort from Ashland. By Shelter Cove Resort I will have walked about 800 miles on my current shoes. This is probably pushing it a bit but it seems silly to use another pair of shoes.

I decided to go to the cinema and watch a movie. I watched Ocean's 8, it was not a very good movie. Before the movie I grabbed a late lunch at Burger Express. The place was not express in any way and I was not impressed by the food either.

The rest of the day was spent in my room watching TV.

After the movie I went to the grocery store to get some more food for resupply. The extra resupply food should be enough to allow me to skip Etna if I decide to do so. On the way to Etna i will decide on whether to skip it or not. I kinda want to skip it as I feel like I have been to towns or cafes almost every second day for the last many days.

With the rough milage plan I have made for this last stretch in California going to Etna only adds a day to my hike but does not change the time of day I will arrive in Seiad Valley. This is important since I want to get to Seiad Valley early, get breakfast and leave early. Leaving Seiad Valley there is a massive climb of 4500 ft in just 7 miles and I want to do the climb before the midday heat.

From Seiad Valley it is only about 36 miles to the Oregon border and I am honestly excited to be entering a new state. Everyone says Oregon is easy and most people do a lot more miles there. I am already doing close to 40 miles most full days so I am not sure how many miles I will do on full hiking days in Oregon. For resupply calculations I will probably use 40 miles a day as the baseline until I learn otherwise.

Tomorrow I am getting a ride back to the trail around 10 which is later than I would prefer but it at least provides me ample time to get breakfast. I might have to hike later in to the day to still get a good days hiking. There is quite a bit of climbing tomorrow but I still hope to make about 30 miles.

Day 80 (20180618): 1487.5-1501.3 Heading to Mt Shasta

Today I would be heading to Mt Shasta, this required me to hike an easy 14 miles to I-5.

Again I woke early and had to go dig a cat hole. I hope this is not a new schedule my body has decided on. I went back in my sleeping bag but could not fall asleep. I relaxed for a bit so I would not start hiking before 0600.

The day started with a bit of uphill before a flat section. Following this was a long downhill section to get down to I-5.

 Morning selfie with Mount Shasta

Morning selfie with Mount Shasta

Again I was mostly hiking in forest with the occasional open expansive view.

Before the interstate there was a bit of road walking. I settled down at the interstate to wait for my ride. I did not have to wait long as Tony arrived around 10.

 Nice view of a rock formation in the middle of forest

Nice view of a rock formation in the middle of forest

On the way to Mt Shasta we talked about lodging and Travel Inn that I had chosen is the one he would recommend for hikers as well.

When we arrived in Mt Shasta he showed me around town before dropping me off near a bakery on my request.

I bought a few snacks at the bakery before heading towards the Seven Suns for lunch. On the way I went to the Travel Inn to pay and luckily my room was already ready. So I checked in, unpacked a bit and took a shower.

 It was easy to get good views of Mount Shasta from Mt Shasta city

It was easy to get good views of Mount Shasta from Mt Shasta city

After this I proceeded towards the Seven Suns and was joined by another thru hiker who was going back to the trail today. I had a really good sandwich and wished the other hiker good luck as he got picked up.

I went back to my room to get organized and prepare for laundry. I gathered all my dirty clothes and headed to the nearby laundry.

Once I had clean clothes I went to the grocery store to do my resupply. I am still in the process of deciding if I will go to Etna or not. Currently I am leaning towards going as I will not be visiting many towns in Oregon and Washington.

For dinner I got a pizza delivery and just relaxed in bed the rest of the evening.

Tomorrow will probably bring more town food and relaxation.

4

Day 79 (20180617): 1447.3-1487.5

Today I wanted to push as far as possible so I can make it into Mt Shasta early tomorrow.

I woke up earlier than I wanted to just after 5 and had to go dig a cathole. After that I could not really go back to sleep and not long after I started packing. Despite this I did not actually start hiking till 0607.

 Early day in the forest

Early day in the forest

The weather forecast for the day had shown a possibility of rain and there were some clouds but no rain yet.

 Mount Shasta is much closer now but now to the north

Mount Shasta is much closer now but now to the north

Most of the days stretch was in forest and quite boring as there was a lot of green tunnel. The views did open up a few times and revealed Mount Shasta in all its glory. During the day Mount Shasta moved to the north in my view as I was moving Westward South of the mountain. To get to the Trinity Alps the trail almost does a full circle of the mountain.

 Not all the trail was in forest sometimes I had good views to the South

Not all the trail was in forest sometimes I had good views to the South

The trail was not too difficult today but now that I look back this is my longest day so far at just over 40 miles 9400 ft of elevation gain, 10800 ft of elevation loss. I do not feel like I have done that much climbing since it was a lot of small climbs instead of one massive one.

 Probably the big animal I see the most is deer, a lot of them are not very afraid

Probably the big animal I see the most is deer, a lot of them are not very afraid

I had originally planned to camp at least 3 miles earlier and before climbing an additional 1000 ft but I read reports about bear activity so decided to push on a bit further.

 Squaw Valley Creek before the final climb to my campsite

Squaw Valley Creek before the final climb to my campsite

Tomorrow I am going to Mt Shasta and have already arranged a ride with an awesome trail angel that I will text tomorrow as I get closer to the highway.

I have heard good things about Mt Shasta so I am looking forward to staying there.

Day 78 (20180616): 1409.7-1447.3

Today I wanted to do enough miles so I can get to Mount Shasta Monday around noon. For this reason I had my eyes on a campsite 37 miles away.

I had stayed the night at Burney Mountain Guest Ranch and wanted breakfast before leaving. This was a good plan as the breakfast was delicious. I think this was the first time I actually liked biscuits and gravy.

 Burney Falls was really impressive

Burney Falls was really impressive

After paying for my stay I started hiking at 0640 which is quite late. The hiking started really easy and I had planned a small detour to Burney Falls to see the falls but also to get some snacks, not that I do not already have more food than I need.

 I had to get a selfie in front of the falls as well

I had to get a selfie in front of the falls as well

After getting to Lake Britton dam the trail started climbing. I think this was also where the trail started getting seriously overgrown. It was so bad that the trail was barely visible at times.

 Lake Britton Dam

Lake Britton Dam

Most of the day was spent hiking in forest which was a bit boring as there was not much in the way of views.

 Sometimes the forest opened up and I could see something that was not the trail

Sometimes the forest opened up and I could see something that was not the trail

Later in the day there were a few sections where the trail did open up and present nice views of Mount Shasta.

The weather started really nice but later a lot of clouds appeared and it looked like I might be in for a spot of rain. I seemed to be quite lucky and never got any rain.

 It was quite cloudy in the afternoon and looked like rain but I only got a few drops

It was quite cloudy in the afternoon and looked like rain but I only got a few drops

As I got closer to my campsite it seemed quite windy so I hoped the site I had chosen was sheltered.

When I arrived a few other people were there with their cars. I found a space and setup my tarp since it might rain tomorrow. Luckily the site was sheltered but somehow was not overrun with mosquitos.

They gave me a soda and a salad and we talked a bit. Apparently Pathfinder had just left when I arrived which surprised me, I had thought he would have been miles ahead.

Day 77 (20180615): 1385.5-1409.7

Today I planned on staying at Burney Mountain Guest Ranch. This made for a short day but it turned out to be such a nice place.

 Early morning selfie

Early morning selfie

I did not set an alarm today but I ended up starting hiking at 0600 like usual. The morning had a bit of a breeze which was really nice as Hat Creek Rim can be really hot.

 The sun is just about to start shining on me

The sun is just about to start shining on me

A few miles after starting I came upon a cooler with some trail magic where I grabbed a soda and some snacks.

Not long after I passed a communication facility where I passed another hiker just packing up. Perhaps my starting times is a bit early. Maybe that will change as I no longer plan to set an alarm.

 Hat Creek Rim had the most amazing views I had seen in a while

Hat Creek Rim had the most amazing views I had seen in a while

 Once if the scariest animals I have met on trail. Getting sprayed by a skunk would suck

Once if the scariest animals I have met on trail. Getting sprayed by a skunk would suck

The Hat Creek Rim was so beautiful as I constantly had views of Mount Shasta and the valley. The trail was really overgrown though and had rocks which I kept almost tripping over which was a bit annoying. The trail also had me walking on quite a few lava rocks. Oregon apparently also has a lot of that so hopefully my shoes will not get too messed up as I plan to use just one more pair.

 Mount Shasta in the distance. During the day or slowly grew larger

Mount Shasta in the distance. During the day or slowly grew larger

There were some rather long water carries today but I did not need to refill water with the trail magic.

 Baum Lake

Baum Lake

In the end the trail descended a bit and I passed Lake Baum before reaching the side trail to the ranch.

 The side trail to the ranch followed the power lines

The side trail to the ranch followed the power lines

When I arrived at the ranch I met Pathfinder a really fast hiker who is trying to do the PCT, the CDT and the AT in one calendar year.

I was at the ranch really early but stuck with my plan of staying there the night. Later more hikers arrived and we ended up being 7 hikers staying the night.

Dinner was really good and since a group was staying there we got dessert as well. I did not originally plan to get breakfast tomorrow morning but it will be ready by 0600 so I am definitely getting breakfast.

I am going to hike so I reach Mount Shasta Monday around noon. Tomorrow I will also make a quick stop at Burney Falls State Park to see the falls and obviously get some snacks.

All the southbounders I have talked to have recommended I go to Etna so I might just have to do that.

The ranch offered showers and have a really nice store so it is all around just a nice place.

Day 76 (20180614): 1349.6-1385.5

Today I originally planned to camp near the gas station at Old Station but due to my hiking speed I changed my plans.

I had decided to start at my normal time from Drakesbad and actually due to not having to pack I started hiking at 0555. As I left the Guest Ranch I did not see many others awake.

 Starting the day with a small climb

Starting the day with a small climb

I was quickly back on trail and started a small climb. The day did not really have anything in the way of big climbs and I was moving fast.

 Looking back down at Drakesbad Guest Ranch

Looking back down at Drakesbad Guest Ranch

I had heard good things about JJ's Cafe and wanted a meal there, originally I had planned on it being breakfast tomorrow as I had read they close at 1500. As I got further in to my day I actually realised that I could make it there just after 1400 if I hurried. This would allow me to push a bit further and closer to Burney Mountain Guest Ranch where I was planning on doing a small resupply.

 I passed some really beautiful lakes

I passed some really beautiful lakes

I passed some beautiful lakes before entering a big burn area. The trail stayed easy and did not have any of the big climbs I have grown accustomed to in Northern California.

 I walked through a big burn area for quite some time

I walked through a big burn area for quite some time

As I arrived at JJ's Cafe I learned that they did not in fact close at 1500 so I was in no rush. I got the lunch special which was a Western Burger. The Burger was delicious.

Another customer at the cafe talked about the upcoming section Hat Creek Rim and said it was the hardest section of the trail. I have a hard time believing that and have learned to take stuff like that with a grain of salt. Anyways I would be splitting it up by doing some of it today and the rest tomorrow.

On the way back to the trail I got a juice and ice cream at the gas station.

 The entrance to Subway Cave

The entrance to Subway Cave

Just back on the trail I took a side trail to see the Subway Cave which was very impressive. Not long after this there was a short climb to reach Hat Creek Rim and the trail was really flat but with really nice views of the valley.

 Exciting Subway Cave again

Exciting Subway Cave again

I actually accidentally passed the campsite I had planned to camp at but luckily there were some other sites just up the trail. For the first time in a long time I will just cowboy camp without my bivy as there does not seem to be any mosquitos. This proved a bad decision as surely before going to sleep the wind died down. I ended up setting up my bivy anyway.

 Hat Creek Rim had amazing views

Hat Creek Rim had amazing views

I did have a very beautiful sunset that ended up keeping me awake for a while.

 The evening had a great sunset

The evening had a great sunset

So far the only "difficult" thing about Hat Creek Rim is that the trail is really overgrown. I guess it is very rocky in places but nothing that causes issues. One thing is that it is quite exposed but I had a bit of wind so I guess that helped.

Tomorrow I only have 24 miles to Burney Mountain Guest Ranch and I am finding it really difficult not to hike at least 30 and often 35 miles a day.

After Burney, the next stop is Mt Shasta. I think I will take a zero in Mt Shasta as that seems to be a town of a nice size and I have plenty of time.

After Mt Shasta I am uncertain of whether or not I should head in to Etna. I will have to decide while I am in My Shasta so I can resupply with the right amount of food. I have plenty of time to go to Etna even though it is supposedly a difficult hitch. But by skipping it I get some time in the wilderness after the zero in Mt Shasta and before the zero in Ashland.

The next stop after Etna is the last in California and it is Seiad Valley that the trail passes right through. So I will definitely resupply there and get food at the cafe which is supposedly very good.

For now I will try not setting an alarm in the morning. I do not think it will make a difference as when I usually get up is when the sun starts to appear.