PCT Weeks…I don’t know…Chester to Shasta
At this point I have barely any idea what day of the week it is, let alone which week we’re in of this journey so the naming convention of these posts will change accordingly. Also, we were in such heavy tree cover the second half of this stretch that our Garmin watches underestimated mileage, so take those numbers with a grain of salt!
After being home for over a week, my husband drove us up to Chester to resume hiking North. We’ll be back for the Sierras later in the season!
Day 68: Hwy 36 to Willow Lake Trailhead, 17.43 miles
Saying goodbye is hard, especially since we are now increasingly further from home. But it is definitely exciting to resume hiking in both the completely new terrain of Northern California and an area we have never explored much.
This burn area had all sorts of hollowed out, barely standing trunks. Campsite! (jk)
The heat was pretty intense since there was no shade from the dead trees. It also makes for very fine, dark soil that gets into every crevice.
Attention all my IKEA lovers out there: pack out their fried onions and gravy powder for your instant taters. You’ll think you’re back in that magical food court.
Trail magic on our first day back! We stumbled upon a cooler with cold beers close to a dirt road. Thank you!
AGREED. I think all the 2023 hikers have permanent trauma from any snow they encountered on trail thus far. Just knowing that we had a couple miles of snow coming up in the next week was triggering!
We hiked through Lassen National Park this day. It was closed to cars due to snow, so it was basically just us and a lot of friendly deer all day. This deer clearly didn’t get the memo that you’re not supposed to walk so close to Boiling Lake.
Lassen was largely a burn area like the previous day. This made for more hot hiking. However, having the park to ourselves and seeing all the interesting volcanic landscape was very special. We also started our new routine of eating dinner a couple miles from camp. It allows us to avoid smelly cooking at camp in bear areas and gives us a nice break before hiking the last bit to camp. Once we get to camp, we just have to set up tents and collapse!
Trees are so cool. Look at the size of this root system!
Day 70: Dirt Road to Ridge Campsite, 21.38 miles
In the middle of a hot day, we made the detour to see Subway Cave. It was surprisingly long and perfectly chilly.
Day 71: Ridge Campsite to Creek Mosquito Hell, 21.88 miles
Super glueing shoes- all part of the thru hiking experience.
This was a long, hot day. Long water carries surrounded a trail angel-maintained cache named Cache 22. We quickly understood why Hat Creek is so notoriously brutal.
Day 72: Creek Mosquito Hell to Burney, 4.4 miles
We quickly got a hitch with a man that had grown up in Burney but was just passing through for a wedding. He was super nice and dropped us off at McDonalds.
Time for lots of food and chores!
Day 73: Burney to Old Road, 18.23+ miles
Day 75: Moose Creek to Deer Creek, 15.69+ miles
Well…we hit the snow. It was only a handful of miles but it still slowed us down quite a bit. There were tall banks and endless blowdowns. I fell several times and at one point, my pack, which I had taken off to slide down a steep bank, tumbled down the mountainside. I was terrified that it was gone forever but we hiked down and finally found it. Moral of the story…SNOW SUCKS.
Day 76: Deer Creek to Dirt Road, 16.34+ miles
Day 77: Dirt Road to Shasta, 18.25+ miles
We had beautiful views of Shasta and Castle Crags.
We got to the road and realized it was not exactly heavily trafficked. We waited for quite awhile and tried hitching with the few cars that passed with no luck and resigned to walking to a nearby campsite…but then a lovely lady named Noel pulled a u turn and swung around to pick us up with her two cutie dogs!
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