Miles today: 23.9
Trail miles sum: 795
Trail location: 1470.9
Spinning on the turntable: Audio book: The other side of history: Daily life in the ancient world
The day began with a climb at 6AM. Early morning climbs are good and bad. Good to get it out of the way early in the day, but a rough way to start the day.
Up I climbed. I started with my hiker pants and took those off within a half hour. Too warm.
Mt. Shasta certainly is very majestic! I took loads of pictures and managed to to slowly work my way to the top of the mountain.
I knew that I was headed into snow, but didn’t have a clear idea how much snow. Soon enough, small patches began to appear across the trail.
I walked around the snow patches when I was able, and over them when I couldn’t walk around them.
Soon I was near the summit and hit this:
A wall of snow! I’d guess it was 15 to 20 feet tall. I tried skirting to the right of it without success since the trail went to the left down the mountain. Skirting to the left took me towards a cliff.
So, I climbed it. I followed another hikers pole marks up the side of the snow bank. It took me ten or fifteen steps to realize I was following deer prints! The deer picked a good path and I made it to the top of the snow pile in short order.
Once at the top the snow was pack was relatively flat and I easily made it through the snow field and exited on the other side back in the trail.
Difficulty factor =3
Sphincter pucker factor = 2
I headed down the mountain and stopped for a morning break and said hello to this fellow:
The snake might have been four feet long. Not too big. I tried to keep my break short knowing this was going to be a long day.
This little fellow seemed to be waiting for food! I swear he was posing on the tree.
The views were spectacular. Crazy good. I bumped into a young German lady who was hiking up (ouch, ten miles!) on her SOBO trek after bouncing up from KM.
She looked wrecked and was concerned about the snow at the top. Other hikers told her it was horrible, nasty, etc. I told her it was doable (for me) without micro spikes. 100 meters of sketchy snow, but not terrible. She visibly sagged when I told her it was about seven or eight miles behind me.
Having experienced really bad snow conditions earlier in the hike, where injured hikers were being plucked off San-Jancino via helicopter like ripe mellon’s I may have a different definition of “bad” than she does.
I continued on and stopped at Gold Creek for water.
I ate lunch after refilling on water and tried to dry out my feet a bit.
I have hot spots taped up with Luko tape to try and prevent blisters from forming. These are the exact areas I struggled with blisters during the early stages of the hike when I wore these shoes (Altra Timp). I didn’t have serious blister issues with the Olympus shoes so I can’t believe I let the shoe folks talk me into switching back.
I may just order another pair of Altra Olympus and deal with the toe end calluses. (It’s also $150 down the toilet.) I may go into Shasta to a outdoor store and see if they have any other options.
This fellow was not particularly afraid of me. We stared at each other for quite a spell until I moved on.
I continued my hike and then about five minutes later ran into a momma bear and cub on the trail.
(So far the paw and hoof prints on the trail have been lots of fun.)
Anyway, I froze and watched the momma bear and the cub very slowly climb the embankment. I gave them several minutes and then continued down the trail. I was surprised to see them fifty yards up the hill! I snapped my picture and moved on. Much too close for my appetite.
I think this is the third time I’ve seen bears in the wild. It was fun but a little nerve wracking.
I continued down the mountain and saw this:
Deer Creek certainly lived up to its name today.
I ran into a hiker I met prior to Kennedy Meadows who was now going SOBO. He’d been off the trail for three weeks due to a possible stress fracture in his foot. He was a big mileage hiker rolling in with 30’s when I met him before. Now he’s trying for 15’s and hopeful that his feet will survive. I’m not sure what to make of it, he seems so “fit”.
I arrived at camp around 7PM and reunited with Noelle. I had pushed hard today to make it to a campground that Noelle could drive into. Unfortunately the road leading to the campground was closed so Noelle had to hike in a mile to meet me.
Feeling kind of barfy as I’m heading for bed. This does not bode well for tomorrow. Nite.