Hot on Hat

Day 47

Mileage: 35.5
Total distance: 1385.9

Even if I go to sleep early my body refuses to wake up early. I had my alarm set for 5 am to get into old station as early as possible, but hit snooze until 5:45. I got up and did my best to shake of the slumber, but it stayed with me for a few hours. 

Thankfully, the trail today was butter smooth and completely shaded all the way to old station. I walked past a lake in the morning with clouds covering the scorching sun and listened to all sorts of birds sing with the morning. 

I walked for twenty miles through a flat pine forest that reminded me of walking in the woods in Louisiana with a 4/10 slung over my shoulder across loplolly needles. I felt exhausted and was struggling to get my body moving quickly and was forcing food down in hopes that it would give me some energy. Eventually I just zoned out on the path and worked my way down the trail without care of the time I rolled into town. 

Around 12:45 I got to old station and walked through an rv resort by Hat Rim creek and made my way to the convenient store to drink a coke and charge my phone. I walked into a small little shop ran by two women with straight black hair and a very somber demeanor. They didn’t speak much, but allowed me to sit at a table and rest while the sun blasted the trail. 

While I was there I walked to the post office and got talking to the woman who ran it who gave me a ton of homemade cookies and told me about her mountain lion experiences. She was lovely and had the sweetest face dressed with gold rimmed glasses and her shiny silver hair. 

I went back to the store and drank some coffee and headed back to the trail. I was lit with caffeine and spent a while talking to my parents and friends on the phone moving at 4 mph until I lost service. 

The trail lifted me up on the hat creek rim and the sun became relentless as I was exposed on the bluff. The wind picked up, but added to the frustration of trying to hike with the blaring sun and rocks bending my feet in a million directions. I lost my sunglasses at a pit toilet, again, so hiking became a stressful chore in the blaze of the sun and I did all I could to stay at peace and keep focused on moving. 

Eventually the sun hid behind some clouds and the heat left the left side of my face. I kept turning around to see mount Shasta to the southwest and Everytime it become more enticing. The sun got lower and the clouds began to change color while the mountain transformed in response. 

I am in the middle of a 30 mile waterless stretch so I have been conserving my water as best as I can, but three miles before camp my stomach started to turn and I pulled off the trail for a classic dehydrated dhyerria experience. Almost immediately after I felt better and slowly sipped water as I carried on down the trail. 

I made camp in a field off to the east and set up my tarp to keep off the wind while I attempt to sleep through the thrashing of cuben fiber all night. Tomorrow is another easy day grade wise and I hope to be in Burney Falls State Park early to rest again before the trail turns back into a roller coaster in the heat of the summer sun. 

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