Feather River (1344.8) to Bushcamp (1363.9)
I guess we entering the ‘Ring of Fire’. Lassen Volcanic National Park is the name of the place we are hiking through. It’s also the start of our last and longest mountain range, The Cascades. The day started well, trail magic in the first hour of hiking. An ice cold root beer, thank you. A couple of hours into the morning hike Teflon and I took a 20 minute detour off the PCT to inspect Terminal Geyser. It’s not really a geyser, more of a hot steam vent. As might be expected there a signs warning of slippery rocks and other obvious dangers. It so happened that right next to one of these signs I slipped on a rock. It resulted in my foot landing in ankle deep, sloppy, smelly mud. Teflon thought it hilarious. I stuck my foot in the nearby water to wash the mud off. The water was boiling hot. I must read these warning signs next time. In all seriousness it wasn’t that bad, no harm done.
A short way down the trail we passed some mud pools. Steam vented from the hot muddy lake that had all the appearance and smell of sewerage. Teflon and I lingered for a while. No rush. We had a very short hike to the nearby hiker friendly Drakesbad Guest Ranch.
There are few words that evoke frenzy amoung PCT hikers like the word ‘buffet’. It’s little surprise that every hiker within miles of Drakesbad Guest Range arrived minutes before the feeding frenzy began. Cone shaped salads piled as high as possible onto plates that somehow also had room for sandwiches and cookies. One of the best plates of food that I have had on the trail. I miss the healthy options now more than ever.
Several hours were taken resting before hitting the trail again. We didn’t plan on hiking too much further. When we exited the ranch we met Mr & Mrs Smith. Yay, another reunion. We caught up on all the latest trail gossip and the plan was set on our camping spot for the night. We set of separately but several hours later met at the designated camp spot on a flat section of trail in a grove of burnt dead trees. One of my old desert hiking buddies Dundee joined us and as the sun was sinking KC and Himmingbird arrived. Our hiking family is reunited.
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