An exciting day on the trail; first up is Burney Falls, which is magnificent to view up close and tempts them with the opportunity for a swim, but it is a bit too cold this early in the morning. A big climb follows, taking them back up to 6,000ft elevation through woodland and the occasional flowered meadow. Ethan sees a bear! This is the cause of much excitement as it’s their first encounter, although unfortunately Molly doesn’t get to see it herself. Shortly afterwards they meet a rattlesnake which is reminiscent of the time in Southern California that Ethan got stuck on the path with a stubborn reptile that wouldn’t move. They take a nap beneath some trees before carrying on along a nicely graded trail with easy walking; it’s nice when you don’t need to concentrate on navigation or footing and can relax and take in the surroundings. They come across some PCTA volunteers working hard to keep the trail clear as it is very overgrown in places and requires some head-down bushwhacking. They emerge from this overgrown section with stunning views of Mt Shasta sitting proud in the distance, now much closer and still a target to be aimed for. After Dunsmuir in a couple of days they’ll actually head southwards to skirt around its western flank. Another bear for Ethan, this time a big one with 4 little cubs; a slightly more nerve-wracking experience but nothing too dramatic. A beautiful evening with the sun setting beyond Mt Shasta sees them bed down with some other hikers after a long satisfying day on the trail. Episode 100 of Trail & Errors 🙂