Another full day today.  Packing, mailing, eating, and hiking.  I tried to sleep in, but 5 am fits like a comfortable glove.  I have not watched any TV in two months except for one movie at the hostel in Mammoth lakes.  I decided to turn on the TV and I found the swimming Olympic trials in Omaha, so I watched three sessions of that.  I had so much leftover pizza and fruit, that I never went out for breakfast, I just ate my extra food.

Then the packing began.  The groceries were uncomfortably heavy walking back last night, so I knew I was in for a treat packing.  I did not think I bought too much at the grocery, but alot of the things I did buy were heavy.  Like salami, two blocks of cheese, refried beans and more tortillas.  Tortillas are heavier than you think.  I needed to sort out four more days of food and stack them with the heavier days at the top.  I have two food bags.  One contains a stack of gallon zip lock bags with one day of food in each.  That contains tomorrow plus food.  The other bag is smaller and contains the current days food plus “the kitchen” bag with miscellaneous ingredients and things that are multi day.  The tortillas, salami, cheese, and beans are for all four days I bought and go in the day bag.  The heaviness was added to by packing out two beers and a liter of Squirt.  It looks fuller than with the bear canister through the Sierras.

There were a few items I could ship home and some I could ship the Ashland.  I shipped the trekking pole and one short to Ashland.  I haven’t used the pole in several days and may just return them instead of replace them at REI.  The shirt I sent ahead is gray, and it’s still a little hot, so I’m not quite ready to part with the white(ish) one yet.  I decided to send the gloves and down jacket home because I don’t think I’ll need them until Washington, so I can just bring them when I return back to the trail from the wedding.  There were also some medicines I didn’t need and I had to buy a big bottle of Motrin, so I counted out what I’ll need and sent the rest home to use in Washington.  I also sent the solar charger home.  I don’t think ill have enough sun to be able to use it once I enter Oregon.  Hopefully the battery will work better without it.

I checked out at 11 and went to the outfitter next to the laundromat to look for some new socks.  I am carrying three pair and two single socks are developing holes in the bottoms.  They did not have Thorlos but they did let me stash my pack there while I walked Bout town.  Neither of the other two outfitters in town had Thorlos either.  Oh well, nothing left to do except eat.

I made my way down to the Burger Frosty to check it out.  They had just opened so I stopped in.  A double cheeseburger with fries and a blackberry shake.  I don’t dare tell Karen how good the skinny fries were because she loves skinny fries.  The burger was good and the shake great.  I could have had another one.

It was kinda neat walking around downtown with Mt Shasta behind the shops.  It really is a cool looking mountain.  I walked back to the outfitter to get my pack and try my luck at hitching out of town.  I found a place where people were going to the interstate but still had plenty of area to pull over.  It took about half an hour but a mini Cooper pulled over and picked me up.  It took a while to get there, but I got back to the trailhead about 1:30.

The part I had to walk next was a roadwalk on the road I had just travelled to get there, but I had to walk it to be official.  It was less than half a mile and fairly shady, so it was nice.  My right heel was still bugging me, but it was better than yesterday.  It mainly hurts on downhills and today would be mostly uphills.

I met two new hikers just getting dropped off at the other end of the road walk.  I walked up a little with them for the next hour and a half.  I ran across them at a creek at 3 PM and I was feeling sluggish, so I tried to take a quick nap.  Even though I don’t sleep, laying down for 45 minutes or so really does put a little juice back into the tank.  I made some coffee as I left.

The next time I saw them was about 5 PM at another creek, and about four more hikers were there with them.  Everyone had stopped for water.  I was going a few miles further to get water.  This section has lots of seasonal water and most of it is dry, so I will have to be diligent about where to get water.

When I stopped to get water, it was the last water and campsite before the long big climb started.  I was on the fence as to stay or go.  It was 7:30 and the next campsite was 5.5 miles away on the side of a steep ridge.  I would need to use the headlight for half an hour since I would not get there until 9:30.  I was tired so I was leaning towards staying there.  I found a perfect level tentsite, but the mosquitoes made my decision for me.  They were pretty bad there and I was wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  I headed up.

The climb was not too bad.  The sun was low, there were only small rocky sections, and the grade was not too steep.  I was on track to take the full two hours I thought it would take when I spotted a set of neat flat rocks on a little outcropping of rocks.  Hidden around the corner was a perfectly flat sandy site.  I would have breeze in the morning, a great view of the sunrise, and had great sitting spots to et.

I set up quickly and went straight to the rocks to eat.  I had enough lunch food, so I decided to make burritos for dinner to get rid of the heavy beans and cheese.  They were good.  Black bean and raw milk sharp cheddar with some hot sauce and they were great.  But not as great as one of the mango IPA that I packed out.  A few Cheetos and dinner was done.  Pleasant dreams to me.