Day 77 – 7/7/16
Carter Creek 1315.51 to Warner Creek Campground 1347.71
Total miles: 32.21
Last night around midnight I heard dead branches snapping right by my tent. What the heck is that? Deer? Bear? Puma? I go back to sleep thinking about how my other trekking pole is up against the log by dead branches. I think about how deer will run off with my pole to get the salt encrusted salt handle.
I wake up at 5 and start getting ready. Half way through I have to go take care of some business. I come back and 5 Star tells me he woke up to pee last night and he saw a deer standing right outside my tent. Damn salt crazed deer. I finish packing up and grab my pole leaning against the log. Guess they didn’t steal it. I look at the handle and see that there are a couple grooves in the handle that are new since they are not discolored from oil and dirt.
At 5:30 we set off. Today is a big deal. We spend a good deal of the morning heading east. Not the direction I want to be going. North please! The trail is overgrown with bushes. Not fun at all.
Actually the monument is no longer the halfway point. It’s about 4 miles off. The trail is constantly changing and due to this the monument is now sitting at around 1321. So we’ll actually hit halfway in another 4 miles. Time wise I estimate 55 more days. I should be done by the end of August.
We set off again and pound out the miles. We are heading for a campground near Drakesbad ranch. It’s about 32 miles from where we started. Once again the trail is in the trees. Not much has changed in the last week.
Just before 11 we cross highway 36. A lot of people hitch in to Chester from here. Chester is supposedly a nice hiker friendly town. On the other side of the highway we find coolers. Trail magic! Soda, few fruit, a danish, chocolate bar! We sit down and take a break to enjoy the magic.
We get up and pound trail. We put in some good miles for a couple hours before stopping for lunch. We sit in the shade and eat our non magical food. I’m getting sick of my food. Only 55 more days…
We climb a bit and come into view of Lassen towering over other mountains. It’s a pretty amazing view. Except we are still heading east!
The rest of the day is spent in the trees going up and down. We start doing a 600 foot climb and 5 Stat pulls ahead of me and eventually I lose sight of him. I pick up the pace as the trail levels out a bit. I see some ahead of me and quickly catch up. They don’t look like thru hikers but they have thru hiker packs. They also smell like shampoo and deodorant. Probably weekend hikers. I was listening to my audio book but it sounded like someone was right on my heal. The group I passes was pretty slow… Did one of them take offense and decide to speed up? I turn around and it’s 5 Star. What the heck? How did I get ahead of him? I ask and he said he’s been behind me for 20 minutes. He stopped to hide behind some bushes so I was able to get ahead.
We get close to Drakesbad and can smell rotten eggs. I pass by a murky yellowish lake and a sign says it’s Boiling Geyser. Oh that’s why it smells like eggs, sulphur from the geyser and hot springs. We continue down and see Drakesbad. We pass it and head towards the camp ground.
We set up at the campground and try to yogi some food but no one is having it. Even a past PCT hiker. Mentioned how hungry we were and nothing. Oh well getting breakfast at Drakesbad tomorrow.