There were many people pitched up on the park boundary most of whom where silent in the morning, but it turns out we had set up next to the two loudest campers ever. Their morning moans, conversation, smoke and trips to the loo were our alarm, and it’s needless to say that we packed up damn quick in an attempt to escape it all.
While the air was cool we ploughed through wood and shrubland as the sun rose in the sky. We made the decision to bypass a turn off to Old Station town, but to head to its north side four miles away for yet another lunch treat. This stretch provided many in trail delights, but soon it’ll all end so we might as well make the most of it while it’s here. The days heat was building as we walked along dusty open path eventually reaching JJ’s diner 11 miles in.
From here was a stretch of dry trail – there was no water source for 16 miles besides a steep trek to Lost Creek – so we stocked up, hydrated, and headed into the heat of the day. Sweat rushed form our bodies as we climbed small but exposed hills before reaching the hay creek valley rim that provided a sweet breeze. It also gave us our first views of Mt Shasta over 100 miles away, we would be in view of this glorious beast for weeks from here on.
It was a hot walk along the rim in conditions that trumped our experience in South Cali, but the push to the Cache 22 water cache was a beautiful and gentle trail. Upon arrival in the late evening we joined a big group of hikers around the cache and for dinner among the sparse trees. We had smashed 28 miles in the heat and our bodies were letting us know about it as we drifted to sleep under a clear sky.