7.18.18. 31 miles.
My first 30+ mile day was today! I think my body was definitely feeling it by the end of the day. I started the day by waking up pretty early at 4:30, and was hiking by 5:15. It was still pretty dark in the forest and I needed my headlamp! There were a couple of little detours right at the beginning of my day in Lassen. These geothermal features aren’t on the PCT, but they’re super close, so may as well go. The first was to Terminal Geyser, which had steam coming up and the river was super hot and bubbly. The second was the boiling lake which was super sulfuric and blue/ green in color, and it contrasted with the red earth around it. Pretty cool.
After the detours, it was back to PCT hiking. There was only one major climb of the day, which was right after the car campground, and eventually brought me to Lower Twin Lakes, where I took my first break of the day at 11 PCT miles to filter water, start cold soaking lunch, eat some snacks, and rest. Pretty much the whole rest of the day was flat/ downhill with only a few tiny uphills. After the lake though was this huge burn section from a 2012 fire. It was hot, dry, and exposed, and went on for about 8-9 miles. This is when I started listening to podcasts to save myself from the monotony. Close to the border of the park I found a nice big tree with lots of shade to eat lunch and take my shoes off. After about 40 min, I got ready again and started hiking to the next water source, Hat Creek. There was a nice little pooled area in the river which was perfect for soaking my feet while filtering water.
After the creek I only had 7.5 miles to town! Earlier in the day, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it by the time JJ’s closed, but I got there at 6:45. Plenty of time to get an awesome dinner of a burger, fries, shake (Marionberry), and soda and use their actually working and fast WiFi. We’re lucky too bc the Fill Up gas station allows PCTers to camp behind the store for free, so that’s where I’m posted up tonight! Old Station is basically right on the trail, just a slight road walk detour down the highway. After dinner I chatted with River, the only other hiker here! So weird bc there were at least 10-15 people at our camp last night. Guess they stopped earlier. I’m hoping for another big day tomorrow, so it’s time for bed!