170630 – Castle Crags

Day:  068
Date:  Friday, 30 June 2017
Start:  Where PCT crosses Interstate Hwy 5 at Mile 1498.7, 2133 ft
Finish:  Camped by the trail in a small saddle at Mile 1514.4, 5998 ft
Daily Miles:  15.7 PCT, 1.0 in town
Total PCT Miles:  974.1
Weather:  Very warm and sunny
Accommodation:  Tent
     Breakfast:  Breakfast burrito and danish
     Lunch:  Gorp
     Dinner:  Rehydrated Italian-style pepper steak with rice and tomatoes.
Aches:  Strain at top of right leg sustained saving myself from a stumble.  Hopefully, a night’s sleep will fix it.  Happily, right shoulder not much of a problem today.
Highlight:   I’m camped in a beautiful spot beside the trail.  I have a good view north to Mt Shasta, which seems very close, and looking east, very far distant is Mt Lassen, from near whence I came.  The bugs aren’t as bad as recently, and I was stopped early enough to enjoy my dinner and get into my tent (always a great moment when there are bugs around) with plenty of light remaining in the day.
Lowlight:  Messing around for too long at the motel this morning, waiting for my phone’s Android system to update (while I had Wi-Fi and mains power…should have started the process as soon as I got up), and then taking longer than I would like to walk to the other end of Dunsmuir and finally get a lift to the trail.
Pictures:  Click here

Position:  Click here.
Map:  Click here for Google Map

My plan was to get up at 6:30am, shower, get a breakfast burrito from the drive-through coffee booth opposite the motel, supplement it with a danish and some juice from the motel’s continental breakfast (available from 7:00am), eat, and be on my way by soon after 7:30am.  It didn’t quite work out that way (see above) and it was 8:30am before I was hitching, and after waiting nearly 45 minutes for a lift, after 9:30am by the time I started hiking from where I left the trail on Tuesday night.  It didn’t stress me out, as I had only budgeted for 15 miles today, but I was annoyed with myself for screwing around too much and wasting an hour.

Thereafter, the day went quite well, mainly because of lovely trail and forest and some fantastic views of the Castle Crags, towering rock formations just north of the trail for most of the afternoon.  It was warm, and there was 4000 ft of ascent,  but much of the morning was in the forest shade, and the afternoon was dominated by the scenery. 

I decided to stop at 6:00pm, when I reached my minimum distance goal for the day, though I probably could have gone further.  Having jumped 540 miles north on the PCT, there are fewer hikers, which I like.  I saw three northbound guys today, none apparently with ice axes, and three southbound girls, some of whom did have ice axes.  I didn’t really converse with any of the latter, so don’t know what snow I will encounter.  Tomorrow will tell the tale. 

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