Miles today: 16.6

Trail miles sum: 826.1

Trail location: 1501.2

Elevation: 2102

Spinning on the turntable: Coldplay: Parachutes

…and another climb to start the day today! Both yesterday and today I’ve been able to find a relaxed mentality for hiking. It may be that knowing both days would be lower miles took the edge off. Whatever it was, I’m grateful.

The trail is full of trees today and I’m grateful for cover from the sun.

…but it was nice to break out of the trees and see a bigger picture of the scenery.

I was startled to see Castle Crag instead of Mt. Shasta at one point. Where did that come from?!?

After hiking for a few hours I stopped for my morning break and enjoyed a few minutes of cell phone connectivity while sitting next to the broken sign.

It was great fun to see another deer today. He was just chilling on the trail. I managed to close the gap to about twenty five feet before he bounded down the hill.

I finished up the hike by 1:30 and we went into Shasta and hit up the outdoor gear store. I was less than enthusiastic about the helpers foot/shoe knowledge so I didn’t buy shoes. I may switch back to the Altra Olympus and just deal with the toe end calluses.

We ate a late lunch at a burger joint. I’m trying to remain resolute about not shaving or trimming my facial hair, but it’s getting more and more difficult to bite into food without biting into my mustache too. Nasty.

I haven’t had the hair on the top of my head this long in a few decades. At some point I may just lose it and shave my entire face and head and start over.

At the moment I’m nursing two dime sized blisters and one quarter sized blister. I just removed the Luko tape (after a three day bake period) and it isn’t pretty. I’ll see what they look like tomorrow and then break out the needle and thread if necessary.

Today I passed one (1) day hiker traveling southbound. That was my entire contact with humanity. It’s a dang good thing I’m happy with my own company and find myself so amusing.

This is very, very quiet.

I’m still not in tip top shape and my stomach remains kind of queasy. I’m hopeful that two full days off trail will finally put this to bed.

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