SOBO Day 85 – Gumboot Trail Head to Sulphur Springs – 29.5km

The nights are becoming increasingly Mosquito-y. We are in the tent by 6:30, which is pretty darn early. Then we end up spending nearly 12 hours in the tent, and in the morning the same mosquito is buzzing right outside your tent door. 

Mt Shasta in the morning

Craggy Ridge in the Morning

Well we woke up to lots of mosquitos and hurriedly packed up our stuff. Have to invest in some bug spray! Hiking began along a rocky ridge with a lot of scenic campsites. Curious to see the next valley, we had breakfast on the next saddle in the warm morning sun. Quiz had reception, so she booked a night at the Shasta KOA where we will spend 4th of July, tomorrow! 

Breakfast on a sunny saddle

We set out to complete out 13 mile stretch without water of which we had 9 miles left. I finished my water about 15 minutes into that 9 miles. The ridge we came down was treeless and exposed with views of lakes and neighbouring mountains and Castle Cragg, a popular National Forest. The walk down feels very minimal, like we are in a stunted tundra landscape. The hanging lakes reminded me of parts of Tasmania. We are all pretty thirsty by the time we get to the seasonal spring and we have a proper break and rehydrate. 

Mt Shasta

Echo Lake below Boulder Peak

Castle Craggs

We take off again to begin the steep recline of the day. The path has turned east and runs below what we must assume to be Castle Craggs. The sheer rock makes for steep switchbacks. We pass lots of day and PCT hikers. It’s amazing to think how many there are all with their own experience of the trail. We have lunch at Disappearing Creek which is as mysterious as it sounds. It felt like we were in the land of the elves. The river bed was dry and the stones are massive and stark white. Quiz walks upstream and finds that it is flowing! So we all drink and nap and I soak my feet. We are partly going into Shaster because my boots, a hangover from the Sierra and hurting my feet and I need to switch back to trail runners and I’m definitely counting back the miles till that happens.  

We decide to camp just 4 miles past lunch at East Fork Sulphur Springs. The trail was nice and shaded amongst deciduous forest. When we got camp Quiz and I immediately found a water hole and went for a dip amongst tall reeds and ferns. A very beautiful campsite! 

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