After finishing up writing the blog last night, I visited with Chris, the man who camped near me until about 9 pm. It turned out that he was a section hiker. Chris had hiked from Campo to Beldon and then flipped up to Oregon and headed north about 30+ years ago. Now, he had finally made time to come out here and finish the trail. As we talked, I asked him if he had ever heard of Philmont Scout Ranch. Crazy enough, not only had he heard about it, but he worked out there in the late 70s at a camp called Black Mountain Camp. I was sure glad he decided to camp by me and not keep hiking as he had planned.
I had one of the best night’s sleep that I have had in a long time. I woke to the sound of my alarm and the sound of bugs swarming around my tent. I was on my way out of camp when Chris began to pack up.
Today I had two options, one was to hike the 13 miles to Lassen Volcanic National Park and camp there or the second was to do a minimum of 33 miles to cross the national park boundary on the northern side. The challenge is that if I want to camp in the park, it requires a bear canister and I had shipped mine home in South Lake Tahoe after the Sierras. I choose the latter.
While hiking to the park boundary, I passed up two horseback riders. It was the first time I have seen horses on the PCT and the first time ever that I was hiking faster than they were riding.
I made good time and took a lunch break at 12 pm after hiking 16 miles. In the afternoon, I hit a good 10 mile section of the park that had been burned in a fire. I was glad for the clouds and breeze in the exposed area.
After I got out of the park, I was feeling good and kept hiking. I ended up camping near Hat Creek, a good sized creek, where I had dinner with my feet in the water. For a good 20 minutes when I got to camp, I heard in the distance the sound of gunfire. From the different types of sounds, it must have been a firing range. I got to camp at 7 pm.