Back to beautiful shaded woods this whole section. Snow free, a bit warm, and a few mosquitos out now. It’s been fun watching Mount Shasta grow closer – it takes our breath away each time we emerge from the woods and it’s there, taking up the horizon. Apparently the spirit chief Skell lives within the mountain and fought with Llao, god of the underworld. Llao resides in Mount Mazama. There is a lot of fascinating lore surrounding Mount Shasta…
6/30/17 – Low mile day; letting our feet heal at the Burney Mountain Guest Ranch. Spent most of the day watching the birds and other wildlife at the pond outside our cabin. Also plenty of time spent utilizing the cell service/wifi (and a little printer troubleshooting for the hosts). Waited out the afternoon heat and stayed for a delicious homemade pizza and salad dinner. Thank you Mike and Linda for knowing and providing just what hikers want! Late evening we headed out from the ranched and walked an easy ~5 miles until we found a meadow to camp in at mile 1412.4.
7/1/17 – Good rhythm today; around five miles of hiking followed by a half hour to hour break then repeat several times. Nice shady woods most of the day. While we gained several thousand feet, the grade was gradual. A few parts of the trail were very overgrown. Camped by Clark Spring at mile 1434.4.
7/2/17 – Good views, shade, and ridge walking most of the day! Pushed 6 miles in the morning then took a break to air out the feet. Another 7 or so miles and a lunch break. 5 or so after that, another break, then another 3 miles. We’re both a little light on food this section, but hey at least the packs are lighter. Camped near Gold Creek, at mile 1455.6.
7/3/17 – Easy ~12 miles of downhill to start off the day. Mostly shaded, too dark for sunglasses in some parts of the woods even. A few more miles and we took a siesta. Another push late afternoon and we stopped to camp at mile 1475.6. We’re well ahead of schedule to get into town on the 5th, so no reason to push on. Lots of skeeters around today; probably time for the bug nets.
7/4/17 – Textbook trail through the woods again. First day in a long time I haven’t worn sunglasses. Took a break after 6.5 miles at Squaw Valley Creek, then continued on another 5.5 miles (uphill, ~2,300ft!) until taking a lunch break with a good Shasta view. Walked another 4 or so miles then a brief break for water. A few more miles and we camped just before I-5 at mile 1495.8.
7/5/17 – Easy couple miles in the morning down to I-5. Took about an hour but got a hitch into Mount Shasta and breakfast at the Black Bear Diner. Been fantasizing about hot breakfast and coffee for days! Short walk to the post office, hotel, then onto the usual town activities – specifically beer, ice cream, resupply, shower, laundry. Not quite in that order. We’re both looking forward to a relaxing evening around town!