Temperatures have been high as I cantinue through Northern California. Leaving Chester and heading through Lasson Volcanic National Park. Steam vents, boiling lakes and lava tubes surround the trail. It’s been days since seeing other hikers on the trail and with no gates, fences or major restrictions to these natural wonders, I have full access to explore, while still making sure to leave not a foot print.
It amazes me, these places that are right on the trail. There is so much activity on the surface still molding and shaping the land. As Lassen passes in the rear view, I can see over the valley where lava flows have shaped the flat rocky terrain into what it is now.
Now the Hat Creek Rim offers a new obstical with one of the longest dry stretches on the Pacific Crest Trail. All new terrain than what has been done in the past. Though flat it is very rocky and the heat suggests night hiking.
A few miles at night and a well timed full moon, I continued through the Hat Creek Rim and experienced the brutality of triple digit temps on the rim.
Finally the Hat Creek Rim was checked off the list of challenges and onto Burney then to Shasta. On the trail near Burney a trail angel had set up an oasis complete with solar showers, solar charging station and even a dart board. It was nice to clean up before heading to town and resupply. The 4th of July was tomorrow and I decided to hike on and skip the crowds and fire works. But Mother Nature didn’t leave me out. A large thunder storm put on an excellent show and even gave a welcoming dose of rain to keep the dusty trail down. With the first views of Mt. Shasta, I knew how close I was to Oregon and how far I have come since Mexico as excitment rushed through me.
I am now near Castle Crags and less than 200 miles from Oregon! Really looking forward to hiking thru the next two states as I look back on California and reflect everything that I’ve experienced. I wouldn’t change anything about it, from the time I started to the snow in the Sierras or the heat I am currently going through now. It’s all been a test and an adventure. Mostly highs and a few lows but day to day everything changes including the scenery. On to Oregon!