Day 70: The Graveyard of Thru-hikes

Mile reached: 1444.9 (+33.6 + 0.2 bonus)

High: The temperature at higher elevations in the forest was beautiful. It was finally perfectly comfortable to hike again!

Low: The sporting goods store was open on the 4th, which meant that I could have bought fuel then and left town earlier rather than having to wait for it to open in the morning.

Due to a combination of being up late the previous night and having to wait for the sporting goods store to open, the morning got off to a slow start. Though, I did test myself to a delicious McGriddle. Finally, to get back to the trail I needed to hitch 12 miles on 299. I’d find out later from “Scooter” that this was a hard hitch and that it took him two hours to get his ride. However, I lucked out and my Cornhole partner, Matt, saw me on the side of the road. He wasn’t even going east on 299, but he drove me all the way out there anyway. What a great guy!

So, I was finally hiking again sometime after 9 am. Prior to setting out I was a little trepidatious that the low elevation and heat would make hiking absolutely brutal. In fact the entire section from Lassen to Seiad Valley is notorious for ending thru-hikes. It’s still a long way to the border, the views are limited, and it’s generally hot. I’d already heard of a few people getting off trail or skipping ahead. Fortunately, the temperature was fantastic, and the previous day’s end had cleared away all the smoke.

There’s Shasta!

Burney Falls was the first significant landmark of the day. Though, it was an absolute zoo there complete with tour buses full of Asian tourists. So, I didn’t stay long.

It’s impressive how much water there was considering the river is dry a mile upstream.
Alright, who was feeding the raccoons?
The Pitt River and the massive Lake Britton Dam.
Lake Britton just before the dam
My lunch spot. At least it had water.

The afternoon was occupied with a several thousand foot climb back up into fence line forests. Even though the afternoon sun wasn’t unbearable, the shade of the forest canopy was a welcome relief. By evening it was becoming rather lonely on the trail and the dense forest was quickly becoming foreboding. There was so much bear scat on the trail that I was concerned the odds of a middle of the night encounter were high. About to miles short of where I was planning on camping, I ran across a wide and very flat, sandy wash. I liked the idea of sleeping in an open space, so I cowboy camped and hung my food.

Seriously? This is the trail. Looks like PCTA dollars would be better spent here.

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