Mile 1298.5-1338.8 (30.3)
The horizon was brilliant orange when I went to bed, and I woke to the same. What an immense privilege to be out here and witness these sunsets and sunrises.
The terrain was gentle today, and I thought I could make it into Chester. I set out, highly caffeinated and going slightly downhill, at a quick pace and was soon stopping at Cold Spring for water. The spring was gushing, but the bugs were out so I didn’t linger. I met Shy Bear and Rickets, then Phil, then Pizza Lady, all doing the Sierra shuffle from Ashland. I got a tip about camping behind the Lutheran church in town, further solidifying my plans.
I followed the trail across a pretty ridge, Mt Shasta way out in the distance, piney mountains silhouettes everywhere. Flowers on the trail, and scurrying lizards. It was breezy where the trail was exposed, and I was grateful. I took a long side trail to Little Cub Spring and drank a liter while I ate a trail mix lunch. Possibly my favorite moments out here are the rare breaks I take by a creek or a spring. Few bugs, slight wind, dappled shade, sweet water. Off my feet.
I drank more caffeine and flew through the uphill. The trail was overgrown at times up at the top, but the scratches felt good on my big bites. Soon I found myself at the halfway monument. Canada, I’m coming for you!
From there, it was all downhill through a forest to Chester. I got to the road around 6pm, got a ride with the third car that passed me, bought fresh food at the grocery store, and set up at the church. There are other hikers here, everyone going north. Many thanks to this kind church, they have everything we need here!