Another good day with a cool morning and a bit afternoon. The highlight was the State Park to resupply and shower, but the morning had trail magic and the afternoon a dam. The fall itself is both surface and sub surface falls. The lava rock is so porous, the water shoots right out of the side of the hill. You can see the two main surface falls in the picture, and everything else is shooting out twenty to thirty feet below the surface.
I awoke right at 5 am but waited a little to let it get lighter so I could do combat with ants if needed. And it was needed. They had made two trails up the tent, one right on the door. I sat there flicking them off the tent, but they just kept coming. They were streaming right to my dirty shirt, but there were a few on socks and pants. All in all, I spent over an hour just eradicating ants from clothes, pack, gear, tent, everything. I did not get going til nearly 7 am, my latest start yet.
The morning was cool, the trail gently downhill or level most of the way, and shaded with trees. You couldn’t ask for a better morning, but it did get better. I ran across another cache about an hour into the hike. Another hiker was there, so we talked a bit. This cache had drinks of every variety including a huge cooler of cold iced tea. I filled my empty coke bottle with tea and three packets of sugar. Delish. They had cookies, bananas, Twinkies, pretzels, twizzlers, and other foods. I had a banana and Twinkie and orange soda. The really neat thing was he had screwed white pine boards to the picnic table and provided sharpies to sign the table with as a memento for himself. He also had a digital camera to take a picture of yourself with. Unfortunately the battery was dead.
I strolled the rest of the morning in good spirits and got to the state park store at about 10:30. I got a sandwich and fruit smoothie and picked up my two boxes of resupply. I ate and then repacked the food bags and rested. I made my way to the showers at about 1 PM and had to go back to the store to get coins for the shower. I found an open shower and scrubbed every inch from head to toe twice. Luckily, I had thought to buy a travel shampoo at the store and used half the bottle. Clean hair, clean feet, clean butt. Life is good.
Since they did not have laundry, I rinsed my shirt in the shower just to freshen it up a bit. It helped quite a bit and was dry in thirty minutes in the sun. I trimmed toenails and fingernails and did little rearranging and maintenance on some gear while lounging.
I made my way back to the camp store about 3 PM for lunch number two. A corn dog, burrito, and quart of chocolate milk hit the spot. I grabbed a root beer and ice cream cone for the road and headed out about 4 PM. The next five miles were supposed to be relatively flat.
The afternoon was hot, but there was some shade, so it helped. I walked quite a bit without my hat on just to enjoy clean hair. I felt refreshed, even though I was sweating again.
I passed Britton Lake dam and looked around a bit, and then the big climb began. Most of the climb is shaded, so it was bearable, but some stretches were in the full sun. All that milk and ice cream had me sluggish, so I pulled off to a shady spot and slept for 45 minutes. I realized, only after drinking half, that root beer does not have caffeine in it. Doh! That’s the sole reason I bought it. I need to stick to Coke and Pepsi.
I made my way up the trail again, feeling better this time. I stopped at the water source, and loaded up two liters and chugged one. It was getting close to 6 PM and I wanted to go further, so I made some Bustello coffee with my warm water that I had been carrying. Bustello blows all the other instant coffees away. It actually tastes like coffee instead of just black burnt bitter water. And Karen had packed a fresh box in my resupply. Score!
That picked me up and I started making a better pace uphill. I wanted to go until after dark, but my feet were getting sore, so I stopped just before 8 PM at the top of a hill. It took a while to find a good flat spot without dead trees, but I found one and set up.
I know the next 100 miles have some exposed spots, but I don’t know which parts, so I’ll just treat it as normal hiking and if it gets hot in the afternoon, I’ll try to find shade to wait it out. Maybe I will luck out and all my sunny spots will be early or late in the day. Dunsmuir is my next stop 74 miles away, so if I am able to make good time, I should be able to walk into town Wednesday afternoon or evening and do both shower and laundry on the same stop. What a novel idea!