Having left all our “chores” for after our amazing visit with my family, we had quite a day ahead of us after they headed home. We’d arranged a ride back to the trailhead from the hotel clerk who said he’d take us whenever we were ready, so we leisurely went about sorting through our supplies, fixing my broken pack, and a few runs to the store. There were also leftovers from the weekend to dispose of … into our bellies. As we worked, we set about finishing off leftover Chinese food, fruit, snacks, and a couple beers. Then our eyes fell upon a bottle of vodka which we’d planned to pack out with us … “Well, while we’re here …” By the time our chores were finally done, there was a serious dent in the bottle and we no longer felt any real drive to hike. Whoops! Finally back at the trailhead in the late afternoon, we managed a few miles before plopping down to camp near Lake Britton where we’d been boating a few days earlier. Not a terribly productive day, mileage-wise, but a fun one nonetheless.
We actually stopped for a resupply between Burney Falls and Etna – in the tiny town of Castella just off the trail – but I combined these two sections into one because there isn’t a whole lot to report. The trail since Burney has been beautiful, but there are only so many ways to say, “We woke up, hiked, ate, hiked, and slept,” without being ridiculously repetitive. The first day notwithstanding, this leg has flown by – we are mo!ti!vated! Seeing family was wonderful and we need more of it. Plus, we are ready to get the heck out of California. We’ve been walking for ages; it’s time to be able to say we’ve at least made it out of state. We’ve decided 25 is the new 20 and have been pulling 25 miles at a minimum each day. We pulled out another 30 the other day just because we had the time. I don’t know what’s happened to us. We both admitted to being sad that the trail didn’t ascend Mt. Shasta, merely passed near it. I never would have imagined being sad that I didn’t have yet another mountain to summit, but here we are. Physically, we’re feeling better than we have the whole trip, and we’re moving right along. We did the 100 miles from Castella to Etna in under 4 full days of hiking (daily totals 25, 30, 26, and 19 miles). We’ll be crossing the border into Oregon Sunday night if all goes according to plan. We’re coming for you, Canada!
*There is a fire burning near our current location of Etna (in the Marble Mountain Wilderness of Klamath National Forest). We have been experiencing lots of smoke but we’re not in the fire’s path (fingers crossed that remains the case!). The PCT is still open for now. We’re marching on and hope to be out of it soon!*
**Sorry for the less-than-enthralling post … we’re kicking around some ideas for future blog posts, but if there is anything you want to see in particular, let us know in the comments or shoot me an email.**