Mile 1408 to 1430
I wake completely covered in ants. They are everywhere and in everything. There is even a raft of them clinging together and floating in my cooking pot. I try to find an ant-less area so I can brush them off and sort my gear. It is futile. No matter how I pack up, it is clear they are coming with me.
Within a couple of miles I encounter the Wild Bird Cafe trail magic. There is water, food, soda, tables, showers and a USB charging station run off a car battery. It is truly magical. It would be nicer to run into this during the heat of the day. But that is coming – too quickly and with too much force.
I hike about 7 more miles to Burney Falls State Park for resupply and to enjoy the waterfall. It is getting hotter by the minute, and weather predictions are not good. 105 today, and as high as 117 by Thursday. Some push on in the heat, but others are switching to a nocturnal strategy. Those of us that do, hide in the shade close enough to the general store to keep purchasing soda and ice cream, and wait for the angry yellow ball in the sky to calm down.
Senior Whiskers and I head out at about 6:00 pm. It is still hot, but it should be slowly cooling down. We hike 5 miles to a creek where I soak my feet, filter water and snack. We hike another 4 miles under headlamp to a supposed creek, but we never find it. We push on until just after midnight and crash by a dirt road and the trickling seasonal creek Peavine. We will wake early to filter water and get a jump on the next days heat. Trying to get in 20 miles a day, avoid the killer heat and find a way to get enough sleep is my new challenge.