Date: Saturday, 24 June 2017
Start: Burney Mountain Guest Ranch, 0.3 miles from Mile 1407.3, 3327 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail near Peavine Creek at Mile 1430.2, 4757 ft
Daily Miles: 22.9 PCT, +0.3 to Burney Falls State Park
Total PCT Miles: 889.9
Weather: Hot and sunny
Breakfast: Waffle, scrambled eggs, chipped potatoes and bacon.
Lunch: Two tuna salad sandwiches
Dinner: Rehydrated sweet & sour chicken with rice and vegetables
Aches: None in particular
Highlight: Visiting the very popular, on a sunny hot Saturday, Burney Falls State Park. I felt like an alien visiting a new planet, with my heavy pack and dishevelled appearance, amongst families, couples and groups, all having a great day out swimming, boating, camping or walking. Of course, that didn’t deter me from finding the park store, something that had been on my mind since leaving the Burney Mountain Guest Ranch 10 miles earlier on a very warm morning, and buying two drumstick ice creams (melted very fast) and a 32oz (litre) cup of Pepsi. I devoured both at a park bench in the shade, and seriously thought about a repeat order.
Lowlight: The mosquitoes were out in force as I set up camp. This means that after a flannel wash, I have to put on my rain gear for protection, despite the heat. Not very enjoyable.
Pictures: Click here
Position: Click here
Map: Click here for Google Map
I was packed and waiting for my ordered breakfast at the scheduled 6:30am, conscious that I had a long hot day ahead of me. Breakfast didn’t appear until 7:00am, but I’m happy to go with the flow in these places, and read the Sydney Morning Herald on their computer while I waited. After breakfast, I collected my tab and two more cans of Coke (which I downed in milliseconds), paid my bill, farewelled the very nice owner, and was on my way soon after 7:30am.
Three miles later, after crossing a back road, I came across a fantastic piece of trail magic set up by the trail – a picnic table, shade umbrellas, cold water and lemonade (cordial), and a large assortment of candy and other food. I downed three large cups of ice cold lemonade in quick succession and continued on my way. The walking was easy through pleasant forest on mostly soft trail, and I walked to Burney Falls State Park without a break, and detoured to the store for an ice cream and drink (see above) and bought a couple of sandwiches to take with me for lunch. On my way out of the park I passed the falls which were impressive and fell into a very inviting clear green pool on such a hot day, though it wasn’t accessible. I did see people swimming in the river upstream of the Falls.
As the day wore on it got hotter, though there was more protection in the pine forest than there had been yesterday. It was hard not to think about endless ice cold drinks as the trail gradually climbed higher and higher and the sweat poured off my head and body. I stopped at a lovely creek for lunch and met four Australians (two living in San Francisco) who were on the first day of their PCT section hike. I didn’t envy them starting in this weather.
After lunch it was another eight miles, mostly uphill, until I reached Peavine Creek, my goal for the day, at 5:50pm. I set up camp, under constant mosquito attack, and was glad to retire to my tent at 7:30pm.