PCT DAY 85: Mile 1438 – Mile 1461.2

Thursday July 7, 2016:  23.2 Miles (37.1km)

Mt Shasta is getting closer and closer. This morning we wound our way along a steep ridge leading to a dense green forest interspersed with logged areas. Mt Shasta was illuminated by the morning sun. Birds were singing, the air was cool. It was perfect hiking conditions.
Once we entered the  forest the views of the mountain disappeared. As I hiked alone through the silent forest, I looked around and realised that I was in freaking Northern California hiking the PCT. How lucky was I to be here. Hammer was back behind me deep in his own thoughts.  I reflected on our life events that brought us to this point. We are indeed fortunate to have made it. And it is because of what we have been through that the experience now is so much more powerfully meaningful.  It is not just a hike to me, it is a celebration of being healthy and fit, an  affirmation of life and being alive. It brings to mind the philosopher Kirgergaard’s observation ” Life must be lived forward  but can only be understood looking back”. Life is grand indeed.

Around 10am we reached Moosehead Creek at mile 1445.  Our next water was in 14 miles so we took this opportunity to cook an early lunch and load up on water. Although, it is never too early for lunch on the trail.  Loaded with water we headed up the trail. It was getting warmer and the trail was more exposed. It was hard work but once we got to the top of the climb at just over 6,000 feet we had magnificent views north towards what we think may be Mt Etna way off in the distance and Mt Shasta to our right. The views were worth the climb.  We found that we had phone service here, so we stopped to update the blog and catch up on news. Seemed a shame to be absorbed by the phone while Mt Shasta sparkled in front of us. An hour later and we were ready to move on.

The trail stayed at a relatively high elevation as it wound it’s way around a steep mountainside. A narrow, flower lined  trail on a steep mountainside with beautiful distant vistas made for an enjoyable couple of hours of hiking. Reminded us of some of the desert sections. 

From here we started to descend to Deer Creek where we stopped for dinner and to filter water. We camped a couple of miles further along where the trail crossed Deer  Creek further downstream. I never thought I would ever again rest easy next to the sound of rushing water, but the mental scars from the Sierra must be healing. The sound  here does not fill me dread, it is much more gentle and soothing.