Day 104: mile 1470.9 to mile 1496.4

7.28.18. 25.5 miles.

Since yesterday was so long and I didn’t get to sleep until about 10, I decided to sleep in until 5:15ish. I was all packed and ready to start hiking around 6:10. The weather was pretty nice. There was a bit of a breeze and it wasn’t hot yet. The first climb also wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating, however, the gnats were SO BAD. There would be at least 30 hovering around my face all the time. I started with just the buff covering my nose & mouth but soon it was clear I needed to put the head net on for sanity. It’s the first time I’ve needed it since the Sierra.

 the McCloud River

the McCloud River

At about 10 miles in, I took my first longer break at a nice creek with good rocks and some pools and soaked my feet for a bit while eating a snack. I stayed for about 30 min, knowing that in only 3 more miles I was going to take a lunch break by the Squaw Valley creek which was supposed to be super nice. So I put my shoes & socks on and went back to hiking, listening to Harry Potter on audiobook (so good!).

 One of the best lunch spots I’ve had

One of the best lunch spots I’ve had

I was really happy to get to the creek. It’s more like a river. I found some nice rocks in the shade with easy water access down a different trail and dipped in the river and ate lunch. I relaxed at lunch for 1.5 hours before getting going again. The climb for the afternoon seemed like it was going to be harder. It was pretty steep in the beginning, but thankfully I was under trees for most of it, so it was shady, and it mellowed out after the first 3ish miles.

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The rest of the way to camp was kind of just a nice, very mellow rollercoaster of a trail, eventually starting to go more downhill to camp. There were no views again today bc of the smoke, but I’m happy that the smoke hasn’t been bad where it hurts to breathe. I leapfrogged with many of the people I met yesterday.

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At points where I had cell reception, I was able to book a room for tomorrow night in Shasta and arrange a ride from the trail to town with a trail angel. Both of these small breaks where I had reception were also infested with yellow jackets. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many bees in my life. They swarmed my pack the minute I took it off. So crazy. Very happy I haven’t been stung yet. I am definitely looking forward to town, even though I was just in Burney. There are way more food options in Shasta, including a Thai place with awesome reviews.