July 31st
Hat Creek(1373.5)-Just past cache @ Rd 22(1397.8)
Today’s Mileage: 24.3mi

Today I hiked Hat Creek Rim. Notorious for being HOT and WATERLESS. It is a full exposed area that goes over 30mi without on trail water. Thankfully, there is a cache halfway through, but we have to carry water just incase it’s empty. Since we planned on staying up late, we slept in and it was awesome! I really need to catch up on sleep and felt much more energized today.

We hiked about 9mi in the morning and met at the parking lot for Subway Cave. The plan was to relax in the shade there until it cooled off enough to hike the rim. Liz and I went to a cafe down the road just before the cave and we were able to get a bite to eat for lunch while we charged our phones. Good thing we did because I had great reception at the parking lot and got to watch an episode of Friday Night Lights. We all could have laid there all day.

After waiting until almost 5pm, we started hiking Hat Creek Rim. I was immediately happy we decided to hike it in the evening. It was still quite warm and there was a lot of brush on the trail hitting our legs and that drives me nuts! Also, the trail had lots of lava rocks to trip and stub our toes on the whole way.

There was a nice view of Mt Lassen.

We ate dinner and watched the sunset.

We also called and talked to Stumbling Goat and Thumper who are both off the trail now and we miss them! They plan on finishing the trail together next summer and we may run into them further up the trail this year if they do trail magic. After dinner, I was happy to be able to wear my pant legs without overheating so the brush didn’t bother me. It was a great change of pace to hike at night and we had a 3mi/hr pace. We had fun with the night time surprises and I called it the Hat Creek Rim Funhouse cause things kept surprising us in the darkness.

First, it was this frog that sounds like a bear and makes this ugly roaring sound out of nowhere. Then we saw a big…black…cow! There were tons of them and they did not seem to like us around. There was one that got too close for comfort for me and picked up speed to run. I was in back and grabbed Liz’s bag and hid behind her twice out of pure fear. I really am not a fan of animals and she found it quite amusing.

Just before midnight, we hit cache 22 and got enough water to finish the rest of the stretch tomorrow.

We found a spot to camp nearby soon after that. Liz, Meow Meow, and Funyan are cowboy camping and I saw too many creepy crawlies to do that, so I set up my tent. I use a hiking pole to set up and that’s when I realized that BOTH my tips had broken off my poles from the lava rock. Lots of us have lost tips along the trail and now I have another piece of gear to fix. It just never ends. It is now almost 1am and I’m ready to sleep. I am 25mi away from getting my new shoes tomorrow. Can’t wait!

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