Mile 1455 to 1482
I wake at 4:00am and start making coffee. In the distance I can see a headlamp. Senior Whiskers is up and packing. Since he is hiking stove-less he will beat me on the trail by at least a half hour, but I am guessing he will be groggy without the hot caffeine.
The first part of the hike is beautiful on an exposed rim, but even before the sun is up it is radiating significant heat. This could be a nasty one. Once over the rim and back in the trees the temperature drops but so does the quality of the views. For the first part of the day there are lots of seasonal streams. It is getting very hot, but we have plenty of water and reasonable shade.
At the McCloud River we setup on opposite ends of the bridge in the shade. We snack, rinse clothes, soak body parts and wonder how long we can afford to stay. Tomorrow we should reach Interstate 5, but at what time depends on how many miles we do today.
After the McCloud River, water sources become fewer and farther between. We target Trough Creek and have to bushwhack our way through the overgrown and under maintained trail. I make dinner and rest by the pretty but tiny cascade. NoTent, who I hadn’t seen since Kennedy Meadows North, shows up. He asked me to thank Terri for posting some message on his blog.
Trying to get a few more miles we push on to Squaw Valley Creek. The water is great but there really is nowhere to camp. It doesn’t matter. We are done. We throw down tarps and bags and squeeze ourselves into a couple of small ledges.