June 18, 2016
Hat creek (mile 1367.1) to bushcamp (mile 1382.2)
It poured last night. We woke up naturally at 6 am but since it was still raining we both fell back asleep. We were just under 8 miles from our designated meeting point with Laurie’s mom and we figured we could walk fast if need be.
The rain stopped around 7:00 am and we could see light coming through the tent.
“Sun??” Asked Laurie as she stuck her head out of the drenched and sagging rain fly.
The sky was still grey but the clouds were thining. We were hopeful for some sunshine. It had been a few days since we felt the warmth of the sun’s rays.
As we rolled up our pads we noticed moisture on Andy’s side of the tent. Could we have a hole in the tent floor? Our tent bag has many rips from bushwhacking and perhaps the tent got cut also? We decided to investigate further when we dried out the tent.
We put away our soaked tent and rain fly and were walking by 8:20am. By that time the sunlight illuminated the dripping pine trees. It was a magical moment.
We walked through puddles on the trail and through steaming meadows. The air was crisp but not cold. We quickly shed our layers and embraced the sunshine.
The trail meandered through the pine forest, crossing many dirt roads and past RV’s in the distance.
We climbed up and then down and could see the town of Old Station in the distance. As we dropped down into the valley we caught glimpses of Lassen. It looked as though it got a new dusting of snow!
Eventually we made it to the cutoff for the Subway Cave. Here we met Sue and we all piled into the RV to drive the half mile to JJ’s.
Town food is very subjective. On the trail you often hear that food at a certain restaurant is the “best on the trail.” This restaurant had that reputation.
Unfortunately we were underwhelmed. Some of the food was really good while others were ok at best. The burger Andy had was delicious while the egg scramble Laurie ordered and the Greek salad Sue ordered were ok. Even so we enjoyed the change it offered from trail food.
Paradise Valley Cafe before mile 200 wins for best Greek salad thus far while JJ’s has had the best burger.
We dried our wet tent and clothes on the deck, searched unsuccessfully for a hole in the tent, chatted with Sue and uploaded blog posts.
By 3 pm and with 11 liters of water between us we shouldered our packs and hit the trail once more. We were at the beginning of a 30 mile waterless stretch on the Hat Creek Rim. Andy walked through the Subway Cave and we all started back on the PCT together.
Sue walked with us for about 2 miles. Flowers mixed in with the tall grasses offered a smattering of red, yellow and purple amongst the green.
We climbed up 400 ft to the Hat Creek Overlook where we got our first views of Mt. Shasta. From here the trail stayed relatively level.
We walked on a mix of lava rock and dirt. It took a lot more effort and concentration than walking on the soft pine needles of the previous day.
We reached camp around 7 pm. Both of us were tired and our feet hurt. Andy boiled water for dinner while Laurie made home and got cozy.
Tonight the sky is clear and we will sleep with no rain fly. We watched the sun set behind Shasta as birds chirped in the trees surrounding our camp. Aside from their singing it is peacefully quiet.
Tonight we are grateful for a cloudless night and fast wifi in public places.