July 16th, 2021
Miles Hiked Today: 35
We were extremely lucky this morning and were able to get a ride with a trail angel first thing at 6:30 am.
We hopped into his truck and zoomed down the highway. Some of us were in the back and found ourselves surprisingly frigid as the cooler temperatures whipped away at us.
The smoke had lessened and we were ready to rumble once dropped off. We had a day of flat elevation before us which we were all stoked about.
We cruised down the trail with Tia and Grady sandwiched between Planner and I. We caught up on life over the past couple of months and how everyone in each other’s family was doing.
I can’t explain how exciting it was to have them out getting a taste of this journey.
The miles were falling away quickly and within a couple hours we were already at what we thought would be the halfway of the day point.
Today, the big dilemma was through Lassen Volcanic National Park. This park requires anyone who is staying the night to have a bear canister with them. None of us had this so we either had to hike 20 miles and stop right before the border or hike 35 miles to camp right after the border.
Most of the crew wanted to do the 34 since the miles were flying by easy so I let them go ahead and cruised with Tia and Grady. I wasn’t in any rush, I just wanted to enjoy their presence and let them make that decision once we got to 20 miles.
We arrived at the 20 mile mark around 2 pm and Tia and Grady sat down, looked at each other, and both had the same thought of “Let’s go for it”.
Honestly, I was shocked. Their first day out, they were willing to go ahead and hike on for a 35 mile day?! Unreal.
These people are unreal!
So Tia, Grady, Journey, and I hiked on into the evening. We all knew that we would be hiking into the night and would get to camp late but there was some kind of thrill to it.
Around 7:30 we came to a lake to stop for dinner. Journey and I immediately started walking into this gorgeous lake only to realize, the entire thing was extremely shallow. So much so that we had walked/swam out to the middle of the lake and realized that we could stand up and the water would only be to our thighs. I was dying laughing. All I had wanted was a good swim on such a full day of hiking but this would suffice.
After dinner we continued on and soon the sun fell and the moon started shining and the stars started twinkling.
It may have been one of my favorite evenings hiking into the night yet. The sky was just so clear and sparkling. I was also stubborn and went long into the night before I even turned on my headlamp. I let the shining moon guide me.
It was a long night, but I still felt giddy with energy. We made it just past the border around 11 pm and quickly started to set up camp. I went over to Tia and Grady and told them that they were crazy and killed it.
I don’t even think I could have done 34 miles on my first day… I’m just in awe of their grit and continuously positive attitude.
Freaking champs! (Or crazy?)
It’s time for some major sleep and less miles tomorrow!
Iz and Oz