Day 74 | mile 1501.2 - 1529.2 | 28.0 miles

Woke up at 5. I really wanted to sleep in today but It didn’t work. My legs were restless starting at 5 am. Laid in bed until 7.

Made tea, FaceTimed Alex (who inexplicably answered in the shower), showed him all the crazy hotel things, he showed me Moos meowing asking to get in the shower too.

I packed up and checked out. There were a lot of CalFire trucks parked at the hotel. The firemen working on the Klamath fire need somewhere local to stay, that’s why all the hotels are booked. Louis said he was going to the hardware store at 8:30 and could drive me to town. I still had 30 minutes, so I went to the hot tub gazebo to soak my feet. It felt amazing.

When I got to the front desk at 8:30, Louis was already gone. I think he has some kind of memory problem. I started walking to town with my thumb out for a hitch. Got picked up by an older gentleman - Ben. He sounded just a little bit crazy and his car smelled like cigarettes. He didn’t really know anything about the PCT and just couldn’t believe I walked 1500 miles. He dropped me off at the tiny grocery store and we said bye. Phew.

I was in the middle of picking out the most caloric cereal to pack out when I heard, “Olga! Where are you?” It’s Ben. He wanted to introduce me to his wife and tell everyone that I walked 1500 miles. Thankfully, the store was mostly empty.

Ben was intent on giving me ride to the trail, so he waited while I resupplied, picked up my breakfast burrito from Cornerstone, and went to the hardware store for fuel (which they didn’t have). When it was time to leave, I realized I left my trekking poles at the grocery store. He drove me back and then to the trail.

Ben insisted that the trail goes behind the Chevron station in town. (It doesn’t. Well, it does, but oh about 20 miles behind the chevron station.) I didn’t want to argue with him, but I said I wanted to start where I left off. He and his wife had just moved here, so I had to give him directions to the trail.

I was a little scared he was going to follow me on the trail but he didn’t. I walked on the trail (with my breakfast burrito in hand) until I couldn’t see the road anymore and finally sat down to eat. Phew.

The burrito was good. Nothing wow, as Lena would say. Finally walking at 10:30. The first couple of miles were a steep incline. I wrote yesterday’s journal once it leveled off a little.

Filled up my water, looked at the map. Oh shit, there is a long exposed waterless climb ahead of me. It was hot and getting hotter.

Saw a very skittish bear. Usually they stand and assess your threat level for a while, but this one just booked it up the hill.

Just before the last water source of the climb, I passed Cheap. I knew he wasn’t going to town, so I thought he was way ahead of me. He was passed out right on the side of the trail. He was ok, just tired. Poor guy.

I ate the peach I packed out because I was afraid it was going to get smooshed. It was exquisite. I thought about the Peachy Pie song Selby taught me.

When you’re feeling sad and blue
Don’t sit down and cry
Have yourself a slice or two
Of peachy peachy pieeee

It made me sad to think I’m missing peach, nectarine, and apricot season. Fuck. I’m here subsisting on clif bars and ramen in the summer and there is so much good stuff to eat right now. Why am I doing this to myself?

The climb was fine. I put on MBMBaM and went to work. Castle Crags Wilderness is like mini Yosemite. It really felt like going over a pass in the Sierra. Except in the Cascades.

Passed Rat and Beekeeper. Then UpDown.

For some reason, the trail signs post distances in kilometers here.

Walked until it was almost completely dark. Incredible view of Mt.Shasta from where I set up. I can see headlamps of very cool people on their summit attempts or Mt. Shasta.

UpDown rolled up a little bit later and set up his cowboy camp next to mine. We chatted a bit. He is hiking with Rat and Beekeeper and some other people. He is Danish but went to an English boarding school so his English is perfect. We talked about Lofoten, telemark skiing, food.

He went to sleep and I briefly talked to Alex on the phone since I had reception. I could see a faint Milly Way. Would’ve been better without light pollution from the city of Mount Shasta.

So tired.