At some point last night, Simon arrived in camp and setup without me knowing... I was already asleep.
With only 5 miles of walking to JJ's Cafe in Old Station, CA, you bet I was up early and moving at a fast pace. I was dreaming of a stack of pancakes or an omelett with a milkshake. While there I met up with Nav, Pitstop and Shannon. They were a group of hikers I had met in Drakesbad Guest Ranch and had camped at Twin Lakes. They told me of their horrible night with bears eating some hikers food then coming to their tents looking for more. In the middle of the night, they had to pack their things up and hike away from the area.
Relaxing at JJ's could only last so long. I had many more miles to hike today to make it to a water cache at Road 22 (Cache 22). Without this water cache, the water carry from Lost Creek to the next reliable source was nearly 25 miles, and at least 1 dry camp (which I usually need an extra 1.5 liters for). Fortunately, hikers ahead of me had reported that Cache 22 was fully stocked. That would make this one of the few water cache I choose to rely on throughout the entire trail.
To get to Road 22, I would walk the Hat Creek Rim Trail which is very exposed and can be very hot. I can attest to it being uncomfortably hot, but the views of both Mt Lassen and Mt. Shasta, along with a gentle breeze throughout the entire day made me rather content along this section of trail.
I camped this evening with Simon at the Cache 22. He showed me pictures and told me of his bear encounter in Mt. Lassen NP. The bear he showed me had both light and dark fur. Not only did it look creepy, Simon said it was not scared of him and actually started moving toward Simon on the trail.
I must say, I was rather happy to not have any issues with bears in this area. Had I know how much trouble people were having with them, I would had most likely gotten zero sleep as every crack of a twig or flutter of leaves would have put me on edge.