PCT DAY 95: Mile 1656 – Mile 1679.4

Sunday July 17, 2016: 23.4 miles (37.4km )

There is a popular saying in long distance trail racing for runners when they come into aid stations “Beware the chair”. Meaning that if you sit down, it can be very hard to leave especially as the race progresses and fatigue and pain set in. Well, trail towns are the aid station equivalents for hikers. It can be hard to leave a town and all the comforts that it offers. 

So it was good that we got out last night and made a start on the climb. Because this morning the trail just went up and up for another 7 miles. The morning was cool and we were shaded which helped.  It was exhilarating to reach the top of the climb and look back down on the Klamath River winding its was through the valley. And Mt Shasta popped into view above the chain of deep green mountains. Such a beautiful sight, almost worth the climb. Even though we were way high above the valley we could hear the loud speaker at the markets which were on in town this morning. 

Start of the climb out of the valley

For the rest of the day the trail undulated between  5,000 – 6,000 feet in elevation. It was a brilliant afternoon of hiking with distant views of mountains, a tapestry of flower filled meadows interspersed by cool shade of the forest. Couldn’t ask for more. The meadows looked like Persian rugs had been spread out over these huge expanses of open space. 

Persian rug tapestries across the meadows.

Mt Shasta stayed in view  almost all afternoon.  We seem to wind around mountain sides with glimpses of it from different angles. I wondered how long  it will stay with us? My question was answered by a couple out for a day walk to the beautiful Lilly Pad Lake. They were from Oregon and said that the last view of Mt Shasta will be from Crater Lake.  Now there is an objective. I need to make sure my ankle is fully healed by the time we farewell Mt Shasta.

Look there is Mt Shasta again.

Cannot get enough of this view.

Bigfoot country, looks so intimidating.

Beautiful Lilly Pad Lake

Hammer had a really hard afternoon. He struggled with the number of fallen trees trees we had to navigate and was just low on energy despite having a late lunch. He was carrying all our food so my pack was was not loaded. I gave him my last muesli bar which got him to the campsite.  Always happy to reach a campsite and today it could not come soon enough. 

How appropriate, leaving Bigfoot country with a big foot.