Day 67: CS1487 to CS1516 (29.5 miles - 1516.4)
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
July 13, 2016 - Really I hiked 33 miles but I’ll get to that later.
I knew when I woke up it was basically all downhill to Castella and Castle Crag State Park where I would pick up my mail drop. I was excited for this mail because I was pretty sure my new shoes would be in it but couldn’t remember since I packed all the boxes months ago.
The downhill was nice level trail so I made great time, faster than I thought. I did get nervous as I was hearing chainsaws and heavy machinery most of the way down. I guess it’s a big logging area. I could hear several trees falling and actually saw one fall about 200 feet from me, let’s just say I picked up the pace until the chainsaws sounds were out of ears.
Made it down to the road and I-5. I waited at exit ramp for a car to get off and head to the campground. No luck after 10 minutes, saw no cars. Then finally one drives by and says she is just going to up the road but would come back later and drive me the 2.5 miles. I waited about 5 minutes and no cars so I decided to head north down the trail and take the side trail later on into the park. What I should have done was to walk the road then take the side trail back to the PCT. I would have missed 2.5 miles of trail but still would have kept my continuous hike from Mexico going. Had I done that I would have saved myself 2 miles of steep hiking. However I felt that skipping part of the PCT like that would be cheating.
I still get to the state park before noon, the side trail on the map made it look shorter than it was and even the sign said 1.5k to camp, for some reason the signs are marked in kilometers rather than miles. The trail ended up being around 1.5 miles.
I got down to the store and pick up my mail drop and got my new shoes, I really needed those. Then bought some lunch and a few extra things for the hike out of town. Then it was off to shower where I got a little confused and hiked farther than I needed to. Got a nice hot free shower and cleaned my pack out. I tried to wash some clothes in the shower with me.
While cleaning things out I dropped my camera and seemed to damage it as it the zoom wasn’t working like it should. Hopefully it’s nothing and will start working again just like after it got submerged in water back in the Sierras.
By the time I had done all the town chores it was close to 3pm and I had to hike the 1.5 miles uphill back to the PCT then hike more uphill for 16 miles to the campsite I planned on. Not to mention it was a pretty warm day so that wasn’t going to help.
I got moving and was going strong but the hill just never seem to end. It started off in the woods so the shade helped but soon I was out in the exposed hot sun for the rest of the day. Luckily I loaded up with 2 liters of water but that ran out sooner than thought. The hiking was much slower than I thought, the higher up the more rocky it got and slower hiking.
About 12 miles since I got back to the PCT I filled up on water and checked my map and saw a campsite a mile shorter from where I planned on and figure that one would be better since I was running out of daylight.
Those last 3 miles was very enjoyable as the sun began to set, cooling things off quickly. While hiking looking off to the east I could see where I had hiked from, even Lassen Peak. Also got great views of Castle Crag and Mt Shasta. Also the sky was starting to turn all kinds of colors, lighting was too low to pick up on my phone but it looked unbelievable. I could have got some great shots with my camera but it appears to have gotten worse so I’ve stopped using it.
So glad I decided to stop at this campsite and not move on that last mile. It was probably one of my top campsites I had stayed at in Northern California. I was right on this cliff with views of Mt Shasta and Castle Crag. I set up camp as fast as I could and enjoyed the view while eating dinner before heading off to sleep. I should have a great sunrise in the morning.