I didn’t get hit by a branch in the night but I didn’t sleep at all. I don’t know why I’m getting so agitated and struggling at night time. I wonder if it’s because I am craving non walking leisure time so the only time I get that is when I lie down. I try to tell my body it can have all the leisure time it wants in a few weeks but I still can’t sleep.
I’m therefore moving stupidly late and only on the go by about 6am. I eat cereal from my trash ziploc in bed and it’s good. It slows down my start but I think it’s worth it to try to gain some weight. I promptly then eat a bag of chips, coffee and a snickers.
I walk and quickly catch the sweet smell of sulphur. I’m so happy to be near a volcano. I pass tetminal geyser but don’t go. It’s definitively volcano season in the PNW and all of my friends are circumnavigating like crazy. Lassen is fantastic and I wonder whether you can circumnavigate it.
I love the lady vanishes podcast. It’s quite long and repetitive which is the perfect mix of intrigue and easy for me right now. I listen to some but stop as I get to a lake I want to dunk into. There are some clouds but it’s still hot.
I see a big group of hikers. I know they won’t be PCTers as I am at least a day behind the last group now (due to bear can requirements in park). I take a group photo of them and they are astonished by my pace. I tell them I am hungry and they, amazingly, give me a lot of their food! They are backpackers not day hikers meaning they hiked all of their food in so this really is special. Many baby bells, salami, candy, some bars. It is a huge pile of food and I’m so grateful. They laugh as I stuff cheese into my mouth. They go on ahead while I jump into the lake. They have made
Me very happy.
I panic eat three babybels in a row which they which with delight. Once I leave I eat another slowly and indulgently. A common fantasy is eating soft cheese tomato and fresh bread with a cold bottle of beer by the ocean. A baby bel in the ashes of lassen isn’t what I pictured but it is sweet and I smile. I’m not a huge salami person but the fatty protein tastes delicious right now so I eat about half of it in the next half mile. With the remnants of my salt and vinegar chips it is perfect.
I am so sleepy today.I keep having light hallucinations of other hikers but just one blink and they are logs. I finally realise that it is muggy and that’s why I’m so hot despite the cloud cover. The miles to old station drag a little particularly as I want to get to the gas station four miles further, not the resort store. I get there, ditch my pack, and get a microwave meal (microwave pasta meals are keeping me so happy!), a pint of mint choc chip, sprite, Diet Coke, and some cake and an apple
. There’s a nice section hiker and we chat for a bit but he leaves to go to the subway caves. I savour lying in front of a gas station for a bit but eventually get moving. On the climb I meet two men cutting logs and uncharacteristically say yes when they invite
To join them for a beer. They know about the pct but don’t want to talk about it and this is what I want. They are lovely and a warm PBR helps me chill out. I eventually say goodbye and finish up the climb to hat creek rim. I can’t resist setting up camp at a picnic table. I am desperate to sleep but love soaking up the views of lassen the sunset and even shasta! Low mileage day but I don’t care. Lots of people come over to chat which is nice and I can smell the pit toilet. I am happy.
High: baby bear and picnic table bed
Low: feeling groggy all day