Start: tentsite at mile 1508 End: Porcupine Lake Miles covered: 23 PCT mile marker: 1531/2652 Highlight: Lightning display at Porcupine Lake. (Honorable mention: More views of the Castle Crags.) Biggest challenge: More hot climbs, and the threat of thunderstorms.
Start: tentsite at 1496 End: tentsite at mile 1508 Miles covered: 12 (+4 to/from town) PCT mile marker: 1508/2652 Highlight: Views of the Castle Crags. (Honorable mention: Great sandwiches and hospitality from the people at Ammirati’s Market in Castella.) Biggest challenge: The very hot climb out of Castella with what I intended to be a … Continue reading Day 73 – 16 mi – PCT mile 1508
Start: Ash Camp End: tentsite at mile 1496 Miles covered: 26 PCT mile marker: 1496/2652 Highlight: Sometimes the best thing is just a super-light pack, the consequence of eating almost everything before heading into the next town for resupply. Biggest challenge: Breaking through all of the spiderwebs across the trail first thing in the morning. … Continue reading Day 72 – 26 mi – PCT mile 1497
Start: tentsite at 1440 End: Ash Camp, on the McCloud River Miles covered: 30 PCT mile marker: 1470/2652 Highlight: Views of Mt Shasta Biggest challenge: Noisy neighbors at camp. As usual for a drive-in campground, the best spots were already taken, and some campers talked loudly as others tried to sleep.
Start: tentsite at mile 1418 End: mile 1440 (cowboy-camped) Miles covered: 22 (+1 round trip to Burney Falls) PCT mile marker: 1440/2652 Highlight: A short side trip to Burney Falls. It’s not directly on the PCT, but it’s only an extra mile to see the falls from the top. Biggest challenge: More 95-degree heat, along … Continue reading Day 70 – 23 mi – PCT mile 1440
Start: Hat Creek Rim End: tentsite at mile 1418 Miles covered: 28 PCT mile marker: 1418/2652 Highlight: Nighthawks diving for insects at sunrise. I don’t think I had ever observed one before; they are fascinating. When they first turn out of a dive, their wings make a noise that at first sounds like it is … Continue reading Day 69 – 28 mi – PCT mile 1418
Start: Old Station, CA End: Communication tower on Hat Creek Rim Miles covered: 17 PCT mile marker: 1390/2652 Highlight: Trail magic from Mamma Mia and Eagle Eye. They are traveling around the west in support of their daughter (Misfit) and sharing goodies with the rest of us. Today, they were positioned in a parking lot … Continue reading Day 68 – 17 mi – PCT mile 1390
Start: Warner Valley Camp, Lassen Volcanic National Park End: Old Station, CA Miles covered: 23 PCT mile marker: 1373/2652 Highlight: My first bear sighting on any trail. (Honorable mention: Another beer sighting. The trail has removed any beer snobbery I might have had.) Biggest challenge: Realizing that my bear excitement almost came at someone else’s … Continue reading Day 67 – 23 mi – PCT mile 1373
Start: tentsite at 1320 End: Warner Valley Camp, in Lassen National Park Miles covered: 30 PCT mile marker: 1350/2652 Highlight: Passing the halfway mark! (Honorable mention: When we crossed the road that goes into Chester, we met a woman named Andrea who was waiting for her family. She gave us nectarines and an enormous apple … Continue reading Day 66 – 30 mi – PCT mile 1350
Start: tentsite at mile 1295 End: tentsite at mile 1320 Miles covered: 25 PCT mile marker: 1320/2652 Highlight: Despite being more than two months into the hike, this is the first time I remember seeing any significant cloud cover. It did make the scenery (and photographs) more interesting. Biggest challenge: Finishing the climb out of … Continue reading Day 65 – 25 mi – PCT mile 1320