After yesterday’s stressful leave of Ashland, we were keen to make day one back on trail productive. This however, is easier said than done as your mind and body are still very much in the motel. It seemed as if the days heat was on us already as we left. The 10 day resupply in our packs pushed its weight through our joints as we strolled over the gradual hills towards Pilot Rock.

Pilot Rock is a huge boulder which protrudes from the wooded ridge line, standing tall above the canopy. The trail skirted it’s base and we took advantage of a view point of both it and Shasta as we ate breakfast. Golden grass coloured the hills around us as we dipped in and out of oak wood. In the heat, water sources became hot spots for dry mouthed hikers and we couldn’t help but take an early and long lunch by one. Here, dragonflies filled the air with their dance, there must have been hundreds of them.

Onwards we ploughed across the ridges, biting down on aches and pains, sweat and rash, until we hit the next and last water source of the day. After yet another long break, we committed to another 4 miles before finding camp among the trees just off from the trail. It hadn’t been as strong a day as we had hoped for and the heat, as well as our town legs, were to blame.