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Ginny "Circle" Benware
Begins: May 1, 2008
Date: Wed, Jul 23rd, 2008
Start: Western Arm of Plantation Loop Road
End: Short of Highway 299
Daily Distance: 19.4
Trip Distance: 751.9
Entry Visits: 528
Journal Visits: 79,439
Guestbook Views: 20,652
Guestbook Entrys: 171
Old Station and a very dry Hat Creek Rim
The morning went quickly and we were at Old Station by 9:30. Hat Creek Resort and the Old Station Post Office are located at the junction of the trail and Old Station. The town spreads further down the road but is interrupted by the forest. In trail miles you have to walk 4 before you get to the rest of the town and then you still have to go .25 miles off the trail. The resort has a general store. It was time for a break. After I stopped at the bathrooms and washed up I went across the lot to the post office, picked up my box, signed the PCT register and chatted with the Postmaster. Next door at the tables in front of the store Miss Potato Head and Paranoia were digging into the bags of food they had just purchased. I was hoping for a breakfast sandwich on an english muffin but they told me the deli was not open. I sighed! I had envisioined the breakfast sandwich all morning. After many mornings of granola eggs taste so good.
Upon gracing the threshold of the store I quickly asked the woman at the register when the deli opened. She said it was open she had just failed to turn on the lights. Well, I lit up. She promptly walked back, turned on the lights and gave me a menu. On the way back coffee was being made by a resort caretaker. He told me the fresh pot would be ready shortly. She recommended ham on the muffin so I chose that and selected the medium styrafoam cup for my coffee. I went to the doorway and announced that the deli was open and they had breakfast sandwiches and biscuits and gravy. Paranoia and Miss Potato Head sighed since they had just purchased bags of chips, cookies, etc.
Returning inside I grabbed my sandwich and fresh cup of coffee and joined those outside. Simultaneously I ate my breakfast and opened my box so I could sort food and figure out if I needed to buy anything other than water. We knew we were facing 30 miles with no natural water. There was a cache located 4 miles into the section but that was it. Don't Panic and two other hikers arrived. They knew there was a water cache at highway 22. That was great news. The prospect of carrying 6-8 liters of water was not pleasant. After consuming my breakfast sandwich, coffee and a double scoop of mint chocolate chip I was ready to hit the road. I think we left there at about 11. It was getting warm and I was wishing this had been a shorter stop. We made a detour to Subway Cave for water and a look see at the cave.
It was only a 300 foot climb to the viewpoint and crossing of highway 44 but it seemed like 1000. The heat was oppressive and the climb was steep. At the top we stopped for lunch and there met Don Woods. He had left Kentucky on horseback in February and had come west across the southern US before getting on the PCT north of Campo. Late last week he had lost his pack horse over a rim of the canyon and had stayed with the trail angel family of the Heitmann's near Old Station until he could get resupplied by his wife. He was now riding what appeared to be a very overburdened horse, claiming he had lightened his load quite a bit and determined to continue his trek.
We hiked until 7:30 and reached a very dusty red dirt part of the trail where we camped. We had walked through a large burn area. There were very few trees on the rim. Normally the compensation would be beautiful views. Well...you know the story - much smoke, no views. We looked back and could hardly see Lassen and looked ahead and there was no view of Shasta.
Trekking on, Circle
Celebrating My 60th On The PCT
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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