We still haven’t nailed the early morning. When the alarm sounded at 4.30 we snoozed it till 5.20. Ollie is a speedy packer and was done in 10 minutes. My heel was in lots of pain and I took longer trying to hobble around and get myself in order. I ate some painkillers, gobbled a bar and off we set.
It was dry and dusty, we passed cows as we walked along a ridge line always keeping Mt Shasta in view.
It’s pretty like open spaces and arid landscapes can be. The sedimentary rock is volcanic and lots of porous rocks of all shapes and sizes keep you on your toes while walking. Often I would find myself skipping or tip toeing around them. We walked solidily till the cache were we took a quick break and filtered water. The trail had now begun to loose elevation and we were making our way toward a wooded valley. We decided to walk another 8 miles and stop for lunch so by 11.30 when we sheltered under some large pines we had walked 16 miles already. We hung out in the shade till 3.30, talking eating, Ollie sleeping (and snoring), and reading. My friend Io passed us. I hadn’t seen her since Idyllwilde. Thebafyer oon sun was still raging at 3.30 but I was ancy to get walking again. We set off and I put myself down. I had had to have more painkillers for my heel so I just wanted the day over. The trail heads into very flat dry Meadows they are exposed and kind of boring. I passed Io sheltering in some shade and we planned to meet at the creek 6 miles ahead. When I arrived her hiker friend Butcher was there. We chatted and waited for the others.
Once they arrived we decided it might be nice to camp at the Baum Lakes. It was finally getting green again thanks to the water and my spirits lifted. Baum Lake is also the site of a power station, the power house is very oranate and looks out of place. The trail snakes around the lakes and there are lots of Canadian Geese living on them. They are beautiful. You also can’t camp at the lake so instead we went swimming. The water reset our hot bodies. We sat in the shallow water and let it flow over us. It gave us enough energy and motivation to walk another few miles to Burney Guest Ranch. This place is a hiker oasis in a hot and dry stretch. We showered, did laundry and ate from their well stocked and well priced store. There is a pool and breakfast waiting in the morning. We camped a little way from the house under the full moon.