Day 92 (27/06/2018): Soldier Creek to Warner Valley Campground at Mile 1350.3 (22.3 Miles)
Wonderful morning meandering through sloping pine forests. Tons of spider webs. Saw a couple groups of girl scouts maybe? Got to check out terminal geyser and the bubbling pools of sulphur water before heading into Drakesbad. That shower was heavenly! Seriously, a hot shower after ten or so days is a game changer. The hot spring fed pool was quite nice too. Oh, and the all you can eat bbq dinner was just ok… scratch that, it was epic! Having a little wine by the fire conversing with patrons of Drakesbad Guest Ranch and hikers alike was a really nice way to wind down the evening. After eating our fill, Mantis and I walked down the road to the campground where we ran into “Pecorino” and “Papi” who invited us to stay at their site for the night.
Day 93 (28/06/2018): Warner Valley Campground to the Old Station Fill Up off Mile 1377.3 (27 Miles)
Today started off with a hyena sighting about fifteen minutes after leaving camp. It was actually a black bear, but it’s golden/brown fur was shedding from the winter and it was just larger than a big dog. Weird beginning to my day. After that the trail was all very pleasant, albeit a bit monotonous at times. Burnt pines and views of Lassen dominated the morning, while it was mostly sandy trails and dust towards the afternoon. I almost stepped on a Garter Snake at one point. A group of three women on horseback passed, and I wished they weren’t on the trail tearing it up for no particular reason. Great service and food at JJ’s Cafe for dinner. The waitress actually treated us like customers and not second class homeless hiker trash! I did see a cool cave on the way up to the road and was planning on going to subway cave this evening to shoot more photos, but I’m tired. Tomorrow morning will have to suﬃce.
Day 94 (29/06/2018): Old Station to Cassell Fall River Road at Mile 1403.1 (25.7 Miles)
Started the day off at Subway Cave which was a real treat. Got some great photos in there. Then trail magic right at the start of the infamous Hat Creek Rim. Coffee cake and a banana to start off the morning was right up my alley, thanks guys! After another eight miles or so we ran across a cooler with “Shasta” colas and water which was a treat as well. Cache 22 ﬁlled up our water reserves and on down the ridge I walked. It got very hot in the late afternoon and stayed that way until sunset. Unfortunately the mosquitoes came out in force right at dusk. Great day though, the views of Lassen and Shasta were superb.
Day 95 (30/06/2018): Mile 1403.1 to Hwy 299 into Burney at Mile 1411.3 (8.2 Miles)
Cool, easy morning walking by Lake Baum. Watched a couple ﬁshermen snag some Rainbow Trout. Got a hitch into Burney by the second car that passed. Too easy! Straight to McDonald’s for some breakfast, then met up with Mantis where we checked in early at the hotel room he had booked the day before, dropped our bags, and resupplied for the next section to Shasta. I got a new shirt (knockoff Columbia) from the only “Outdoor Store” in Burney, and a 15 pack of Keystone Light for $5.95 from Dollar General!!! Crazy cheap. Pizza for dinner, had some beers with Papi and Peck (Peckerino) and called it a night.
Day 96 (01/07/2018): Hwy 299 to Campsite near Peavine Creek at Mile 1432.7 (21.4 Miles)
Called it early today. The heat and uphill slog through unkempt trail covered in brush just tired me right out. My feet are deﬁnitely hurting a bit as well. Burney Falls was epic to see again. Such a pretty place. Rock Creek was a great lunch spot also with a good place for a little dip in the water to cool down. The uphill was pretty long and just felt like I was going nowhere. Tomorrow should be better I hope.
Day 97 (02/07/2018): Peavine Creek to Gold Creek Junction at Mile 1458.1 (25.4 Miles)
Started hiking at 6am today. Made sixteen miles before lunch. Good temperature this morning, even if the trail was actually just bushes and you couldn’t see it for quite a long time. I saw an owl go ﬂying through the trees and land on a distant perch of an old dead tree. Too cool. It got really hot this afternoon, and while eating lunch a deer crept up on me, hoping to eat my sweaty/salty clothes I’m sure. Hopefully my feet don’t hurt too bad tomorrow. I think it’s gonna be “Vitamin I” (Ibuprofen) time ﬁrst thing in the morning unfortunately. I stopped at 5pm tonight, little bit early again, but my feet were just really hurting.
Day 98 (03/07/2018): Gold Creek to Squaw Valley Creek Trailhead at Mile 1484.6 (26.5 Miles)
This morning was windy and actually a little bit cool to start out. It was a welcome relief. I caught up to Mantis by about 10am and saw him again at lunch. Just before lunch I saw a rattlesnake, fourth one of the trip. Then right after lunch I saw my fifth, and narrowly missed stepping on its head. They were both small, but the second one was about a foot long and didn’t rattle at all. The “Eye Swoopers” have been at an all time high the past two days, so I’ve been hiking with my bug net on. I decided today that I won’t be attempting to summit Mt. Shasta unfortunately. My foot has been aching and I just need to rest it if I want to ﬁnish this trail. Tonight the camp site is pretty good, between two streams with a pit toilet to boot. Dunsmuir in the morning and resting these weary feet.
Don’t break through!Very hot thermal vent, smelled a bit sulphuryAgain, smelled like sulphur and looked like another planetBambi and mother running through the flowersMajestic Mt. LassenThis cave was about twenty feet to the left of the PCTIs Subway Cave haunted?Only by the ghosts of hiker trash and their rumbling stomachsPapi coming down the trail to the left and Lassen giving us views all day on Hat Creek RimI see Shasta!Burney Falls is certainly worth the ten minute side trip off of the PCTMt. Shasta, where I learned how to snowboard, I’ll summit you soon enough!Rolling hills of NorCal are splendidA little long exposure of the stream next to Mantis and my campsite for the night