Mile 1715 to 1737
I wake before Kevin and head to Albertsons to be there when it opens at 6:00. I purchase two rolls of athletic tape in an attempt to increase support for his arches. Our continental breakfast does not start until 7:00. We are the first and only ones there and we stuff ourselves with waffles, cereal, yogurt, coffee and juice.
I create a “PCT Callahans” sign from an empty Jif peanut butter box for Kevin. I stick with my Tyvek “To Trail” sign. Our hitch at the I-5 on ramp is longer and harder than usual. A lady stops in a small truck, but only offers to take one of us because she has a large chainsaw in the cab. One of us may have accepted this powerful offer, if not for the fact that she was wearing a hockey mask.
We are eventually picked up by a musician driving a van pulling a trailer. He is on his way from Portland to a gig in Petaluma. After being dropped at the Callahans exit, we hike back up the steep trail to the PCT, for a very late start.
Today appears to be wild animal day. We see turkey, rabbits, a skunk, and deer. The turkey are in large groups with individuals ranging in size from thanksgiving dinner, to small fry, to tiny turkey nuggets. The skunk, unlike the one on Hat Creek Rim, did not threaten us at all. He probably just assumed we had already been sprayed. Most of the deer were cute and playful, except for the ones which have clearly been torn limb from limb. Did I mention this is cougar country? The good news is they seem to do a nice job of licking the bones clean.
As we round Pilot Rock, right in front of us is Mount Shasta. The impossible just keeps possible-ing.
We press on to a water source listed in our app as “Faucet with Tentsite”. When we arrive we find a sign with a picture of a faucet and instructions to filter or boil water from the faucet, but no actual faucet. I don’t want to be that guy, but it does seem that a key ingredient is missing.
In order to make our 22 miles to the tent site we cook our dinner on the trail and keep hiking. We arrive at the camp advertised for five plus tents and find it taken up completely by a father and his young son. In the only flat spot for miles they have placed a van, a massive tent, several bikes, coolers, gear and who knows what all. The dad says they plan to stay in this spot for more than a week. This is during peak PCT hiker season. Kevin and I clear pine cones, sticks and rocks from a nearby not-so-flat spot. Father and son are extremely loud, talking while playing movies with the volume set on RIDICULOUS! It is now 10:00pm, and I am wishing I could borrow the truck lady’s chainsaw and mask.