Headed North From Chester
After arriving at Kennedy Meadows, I hitched a ride home from a friend who welcomed me to my 700-mile mark. I stayed home for a week, waiting for my husband to finish school. He would be joining me on trail again. That Saturday we rented a car and drove to Bishop for the night. We always like to support our favorite brewery in Bishop. The following day we hitched a ride to Chester with a friend who happened to be headed that way. We stayed the night at the Timber House which was conveniently located next to the brewery and distillery.
We Saw a Bear
The following morning we had breakfast and then headed to the road to hitch to the trail. After a short while, a guy stopped and picked us up. We started our hike in a burn area. Shortly in our hike, my husband saw a bear. It was a small bear who ran across the trail. He stopped and looked back at us and then kept going. So cute! After 15 miles, we made it to camp next to a creek. This was the boundary of Lassen, where a bear container is required. We didn’t want to carry anything for this short section, so we would be hiking through Lassen in a day.
Hiking Through Lassen in a Day
Our hike through Lassen was going to be 20 miles long. We started with a short side detour to see the Thermal Geyser, which was very cool. Then we had to cross a log over a river. I thought the log was kinda slippery so I opted to scoot across on my bottom. Then we had about 5 miles of snow that required some route finding and it slowed our pace to about 1 mph. We had more water crossings, one which my husband slipped and fell in the water to his waist. After the snow section we then had a thunderstorm move in. We grew tired. I wasn’t sure we would make it to the next Lassen boundary line. We kept going and after 12 hours of hiking we finally made it. We set up camp, ate dinner, and laid down for the night. As we were in our tent we continued to see hikers come to camp for the following 3 hours. They said the section just seemed to be hard, even after completing many 20-mile days in the desert.
A Short Day to Recover
We were tired from 35 miles in 2 days so we decided to hike only 8.5 miles to Old Station RV Resort. Our feet had blisters from the snow, water, and miles. We were going to camp but found out the campground was rather expensive at $40, so we splurged and got a room for $60 more. It was nice having a shower, a bed, food, tv, and laundry to help lift our spirits and achy bodies from the past two days. We had burgers and shakes. It was good.
Another Side Trip
The next morning we headed back out to the trail but needed supplies for our feet. So after 4 miles we took the side detour to the other Old Station store. Then we spotted the cafe was open. Another hiker said breakfast was good, so we decided to go eat. We are suckers for food. After breakfast we headed to the Lava Cave. It was cool. Then we heard there was trail magic ahead, so we hurried down trail. Unfortunately, the trail magic was the day before, but we still got to take a break in the shade on a picnic table, with a pit toilet with TP, and a trash can. After our break we continued down the trail for a total of 12.6 miles until we found a nice campsite overlooking the Hat Creek area. We could see Mt Lassen in the distance as well as Mt Shasta up ahead.
We Are Tired
The next day we continued our trip down the trail. It was already warm. There were hardly any trees or shade, and we hoped for a breeze. We got water at a creek and then the next water was 5 miles farther at water cache 22. Thank you trail angels. Our feet were tired and hurt from walking on lava rocks; we just were not recovering. Other hikers walked into camp with sandals on and complained about their feet, so we knew we were not alone. But I think being a little older than most of the hikers on trail has taken its toll. After 13.5 miles we arrived at an okay campsite that was slanted. I didn’t want to hike farther because notes on FarOut said mosquitoes were ahead.
Let’s Go! It’s Town Day!
We woke up early to beat the heat and hike 13.5 miles to hitch to Burney. It’s a weekend at Burney’s. We hiked through mosquitos, the fish hatchery, and by Baum Lake. It was a pleasant hike. When we got to the road, a car pulled up and asked if we were going to town. We hopped in and we were in Burney in no time. We had Mcdonald’s and then checked into our room for a welcomed zero day. Yay!!
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