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Martin "Lei Low" Rolph
City: Cameron Park
Begins: Apr 12, 2008
Entry Visits: 1,240
Journal Visits: 184,871
Guestbook Views: 5,677
Guestbook Entrys: 35
Kinda Toasty Warm Today
Wow, it was hot this afternoon! Even now at 8:30PM, it's well over 85F. The day started pretty cool back up in Lassen Park. I started hiking when it was light enough to see. The trail followed a nice creek for several miles before climbing up to a broad saddle, then followed an old emigrant route gently down for miles, passing several nice but shallow lakes. A very young and very speedy through-hiker named Bido passed me.
After leaving the park, the trail wound down to a tree plantation. The day got progressively hotter as the trail dropped. There was also a thick (3 to 4 inches) layer of very fine gray dust on the trail. By the time I reached Hat Creek, I was very hot and dusty. I splashed in the creek for 20 minutes before finding a shady spot for lunch. As I was eating, a large group of PCTers caught up. I didn’t catch all the names, but they included Slider, Neighbor, and Chickety.
From my lunch stop, it was another 2 hours to the Hat Creek Resort in Old Station. They have a welcome store with cold drinks and ice cream. As I was enjoying my treats, a van-load of hikers showed up to go to the post office. The van was from the Heitmans, local trail angels who host hikers. I wasn't planning on staying in Old Station very long, but Georgie Heitman talked me into stopping by for shower and a break before heading up the trail in the evening.
After the 2-minute car ride, we pulled up to a lovely home with a dozen or more hikers lounging and eating. I got my shower and some more cold drinks, then met the crowd. There wasn't anyone I recognized, but Zoner and San Gabriel had been through only a few days earlier.
At 5:30PM I got a ride back to the trail with four other hikers. I wasn't looking forward to the next stretch of trail. After a 1,500-foot climb up to the top of a lava rim, I knew the trail would be dry and mostly shade-less for 29 miles. The Heitmans maintain two water caches in this dry stretch, one near the start, and one 14 miles into the hot hike. I made it to the first water cache at 8:00PM. After admiring the view of Hat Creek Valley and Mt. Shasta just visible under a layer of eerie orange smoke , I set up camp a quarter mile up the trail in the last shady grove of trees. I'm going to start really early tomorrow to get as much done as I can before it's too hot.
Martin "Lei Low“
Tales From The Crest
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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