Epic Tentsite(1516.4) to Sission Calahan Trail Junction(1545.5) 29.1 Miles
Total up/down:+3399/-2660 feet
I woke up just in time for an amazing sunrise. When I first woke up I thought to myself, wow that is pretty, then I rolled over to go back to sleep. It took my brain a second to kick in and to fully wake up. I grabbed my phone and took a few pictures. It is always disappointing when the pictures can't accurately convey what I'm seeing. I guess if you want to fully appreciate what I'm seeing you will just have to get outside and experience it for yourself.
Now that I was fully awake I set about breaking down camp. I tried to be quiet since everyone else was still asleep. Part of me felt like yelling, "Hey, wake up. You're missing the sunrise", but I thought that would be rude. I have really lucked out lately with my campsites. I haven't had sunsets and sunrises like this since the desert section. By the time the sun had fully risen I was packed up and ready to go. By having a liquid breakfast I save a lot of time in the morning. It was pretty chilly last night, but as soon as the sun came out it warmed up quickly. I was able to start the day off wearing just my tshirt and running shorts. Most mornings I have on either my rain jacket or hiking pants. I'm really considering ditching the hiking pants. Even with a belt on they don't fit. No matter what I do they still are falling off of me. When I get to Ashland, Oregon I'll try to find something to replace them.
Today was just lovely. The scenery was really green and I hiked past numerous lakes. I had constant views of Mount Shasta and Castle Crags.
I really wanted to stop and sit by one of the lakes today, but I also really wanted to make miles. It is the same internal struggle I face daily. I stopped and smelled the roses enough in the desert and in the Sierra. That is why I'm behind now. I have to keep reminding myself that once I get to Crater Lake I can slow down a little. For the next few weeks my main concern has to be on making miles, but dang, it was really hot today and the lakes were tempting.
The first few lakes I passed were a little too far off of the trail to be a real temptation. As the temperature climbed higher the lakes became closer. I wish I could hike a little faster. If I could increase my pace by half a mile per hour I would have more leisure time. Unfortunately, that won't happen over night. I am smart enough to realize that if I managed to do that I would probably just injure myself. Since leaving Tahoe I have managed to steadily increase my pace. I'm consistently hiking three mph. Before Tahoe I was hiking around 2.5-2.75 mph. Maybe by the end of this hike I'll be able to keep up 3.5 mph, but for now I'll play it safe and stick to 2.5-3 mph.
During the hottest part of the day I had to hike through the most exposed section of the day. This has been the case for the last hundred miles. My timing just seems to be off.
I had set my sights on a camp spot twenty-five miles away from where I had camped last night. I was making great time even though I took more breaks than normal. The fact that I didn't have any major climbs or descents seemed to make a huge difference. My feet are finally adjusting to a new brand of shoe. My hot spots are all gone and my feet aren't quite as sore as they have been. Although, this could just be a result of better terrain. The trail hasn't been as sandy as the last two hundred miles were. I'm not constantly having to stop to empty sand out of my shoes. Since my feet weren't on fire, the rest of the day passed by relatively quickly.
For a large portion of the day I had fantastic water sources. A few were off of the trail, but with good water management I was able to avoid those. Every spring I collected from was located right on the trail. They were all ice cold and easy to collect from. It was a rare occasion to have my plan for water work out flawlessly.
Unfortunately, I can't say the same about my plan for camping. With the mileage I wanted to do today it was impossible to camp at a water source. I would have to dry camp. The only question was how far would I have to carry water. I had planned on getting water at mile twenty-five and camping at mile twenty-seven. When I got to that tentsite there was bear crap everywhere. That answered two questions for me. Yes, a bear does crap in the woods. No, I would not be camping here. I decided to keep hiking until the next flat spot of ground that I saw. I ended up having to go another two miles. It actually worked out perfectly. I found another epic campsite. I had a view of a lake with Mt. Shasta framed perfectly behind and on the other side of the ridge a great view of the Trinity Alps Wilderness. I made it into camp before seven o'clock. I really enjoyed dinner, which consisted of one of Wolf's dehydrated meals. Hey Wolf, the chicken pot pie was amazing. Thanks. I got my blog done before sunset and enjoyed watching the sun go down.
I was able to watch the Perseid meteor shower. It was absolutely unreal! I have never seen anything like it before. I probably saw over 100 shooting stars before I feel asleep. Tonight was a shining example of why I thruhike. You can't fully appreciate the beauty of your surroundings without a little discomfort and struggle.
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”
~ Thomas Paine