June 22, 2016
Bushcamp (mile 1432.3) to dirt road (mile 1458)
Today started out like many others – our alarms went off and we didn’t want to open our eyes.
Typically on backpacking trips one catches up on sleep. For some reason on our thru hike we can’t seem to get enough sleep.
Blogging takes time, and with the sun setting late we unwind later. Plus walking 15+ miles per day our bodies need more rest than usual. Maybe by the end of the hike we will figure out how much sleep we need to feel refreshed instead of groggy in the morning.
We were hiking by 6:20 am. Unfortunately the mosquitoes were up early as well. Laurie hiked with her head net on while Andy’s beard protected him.
The trail meandered through lush forests. We walked by lots of wild roses and ferns. The air was warm but we experienced moments of relief as we walked through cool and damp areas of the forest.
Eventually we climbed up to a clearing and ridge. Shasta stood prominently in front of us. It seems like more snow is melting every day. We ate a late lunch staring out at Shasta and the foresty hills in the foreground.
For most of the afternoon we stayed up high, walking up and down small hills amongst waist high bushes. The views were expansive.
Laurie, who walks with her head down, was leading when she walked straight into a low fallen tree branch. It shocked her and hopefully will remind her to look up once in a while.
Up on a south facing ridge we were able to see Lassen. It looked so small in the distance. It is inspiring to see how far we have walked in a week.
Back in a shady and lush section of trail Laurie suddenly rolled her left ankle and when she tried to catch herself with her right foot, her knee buckled and she went down. She fell slightly off the trail onto some brush. She started laughing instantly; nothing hurt but her ego.
We walked on, determined to reach our goal of walking more than 25 miles. The daylight hours are long but our bodies are not used to walking much past 6 pm. Our feet were tired, but we pushed on.
We got water from a seasonal stream and walked up to the top of the last hill before Ash Camp. We debated whether to keep going another mile to Deer Spring to make it a marathon day. We opted to stay here since it was higher and would hopefully have fewer mosquitoes, plus there were only 2 spots at Deer Creek and this late in the day they may have been taken.
We found a flat spot alongside the dirt road and set up our tent. The mosquitoes were out in droves but luckily we had the safety of our tent to keep us safe from an itch fest.
Getting to camp around 7:15pm meant we ate later and thus went to bed later. Luckily we are both tired from the day and will sleep well.
Tonight we are grateful for our bug nets and bites of cheese after a long day.