California Oregon border
to Beldon 410 miles
to Castella 23rd August
After a lovely breakfast and a refreshing stay in Etna we hopped into
our pre arranged lift in a pick up truck back to the trail.
Our lift back up to Etna Pass
Pass L-R Ron, Martina, hikingdog, Tyler, Jenny, Svein
the pass we met two north bounders with their hiking dog and exchanged
tales of the hike. We all enjoyed listening to other hikers experiences
and we could also glean information from north bound hikers on the
conditions ahead for us. We joined up with Svein and Ron for the day
and the four of us continued our chat as we hiked along sub alpine
terrain to camp at twilight after 21 miles.
the next day we split up again as Ron headed off early from camp and
we followed on meandering through trees and meadows with distant views
out to the volcanic cone of Mt Shasta.
Meeting Dave with horses, Mt Shasta behind
with trail crew
was here that we met Dave and Gretchen
who were spending the whole summer up in the mountains with their
horses and had done so for the previous 5 years. Although they were
'roughing it' in the wilds, Dave was keen on electronics and enthusiastically
showed us his gadgets including TV, radio, laptop and even a
fan to cool his chickens - all powered by batteries charged by solar
panels! A local trail maintenance crew joined us as we chatted in
the trees next to the grazing horses in a meadow. Dave and
Gretchen were a wonderful example of
how people can live away from the dependence of a '9 to 5' job out
here in the US and we took our hats off to them.
reluctantly dragged ourselves away to hike on south past Scott Mountain
road pass and up to camp beside a natural spring.
The PCT took
us through the Trinity Alps here, however we managed a wee short
cut on the Trinity River Trail as the PCT swept in a huge arc
round the river valley whist we dropped straight down and climbed
back up on trail-less terrain to rejoin the PCT. Some pitcher
plants were growing on a marshy meadow next to a spring here-
this is a carnivorous plant that feeds on insects by trapping
them in a
camp that evening on the 25th August was at
Porcupine Lake high up at 7,200 feet in the Trinity alps and nestled
under steep hills. The water was cold so we managed only a short but
worthwhile dip before cooking dinner by the lakeshore. That evening
as it was getting dark, two people came rowing across the lake to
us on a log. They brought kind offerings of popcorn and it turned
out they lived nearby in Shasta City and visited the
lake frequently. I marvelled at their ability to steer and row the
log without falling-in in the dark!
dropped down past scenic Castle Crags to tiny Castella- a garage,
store and post office with a nearby campsite. To our delight it had
a section marked 'Reserved for PCT hikers' .
from Castella to Burney Falls through the dreaded Section 'O'.