A jam packed day, everything from organizing my resupply to fit it all in my backpack (which always takes some time) to hiking nearly 22 miles after starting at 10:30 am.
Butterfingers and I were up and out of camp relatively early, compared to my recent camp departures. Our motivation was a cup of coffee and ice cream for breakfast at the Burney Falls State Park General Store. Arriving around 7:30 am, we were too early for them to serve their soft serve ice cream. Once again my attempt at getting ice cream has been thwarted. Fortunately I was in no rush, and wanted to take some time to see the Falls, so after I shoved all of my resupply food into my backpack, Butterfingers and I walked the quarter mile paved trail down to the bottom of the Falls.
Once back at the General Store, we got at least 2 servings of soft serve ice cream and chatted with a few other hikers and people visiting the State Park for the day. One of the hikers name was Surplus, a German women from Seattle who always... and she emphasized ALWAYS had to much food. She said she tried getting rid of more in town, but giving away half or more of a resupply box in every town can be mentally challenging. Other than that, she was having issues with the monotony that can be felt while out on the trail.
I feel a lot of hikers were having issues with the monotony of Northern California. We were all use to hiking in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains, which on a bad day would have an infinite amount of incredible views. For myself, Northern California was hot, dry, Bear and Dear infested, but overall I was beginning to find my rhythm and enjoy the new scenery.
Having a date to meet my family at Crater Lake also helps motivate me to keep moving, even on the days I don't seem to enjoy. Today was not one of those days. Having some amazing views of Mt. Shasta did not hurt.
Butterfingers and I left the State Park together around 10:30 am and set a goal for a campsite around 22 miles away. I figured this would take roughly 9 hours of walking, plus an hour and a half of breaks (at least), putting me in camp around 9:00 pm. I have not been a fan of hiking very late due to it getting dark, but with it being mid-summer the days are very long and hiking till 9:00 pm can easily be done without a headlamp.
About 5 miles from camp, I passed Simon who had setup his tent on an exposed area of the hillside with an EPIC view of Mt. Shasta. He told me he and a friend back home were competing to see who had the best campsite this summer. I think his site could be one of the more spectacular campsites along the PCT. Definitely at the top of the list for Northern California.
Nearing camp, the PCT travels through an area with so many Noble Furs that the area smelled like Christmas.. or rather Christmas Trees. The Sun set about the same time I arrived in camp providing me enough light to setup my tent with Butterfingers, Surplus and M&M. There were enough mosquitoes around to keep me in the mesh of my tent while eating dinner. It has actually been this way for most of Northern California.