Day 110 7-13-07 Tarp Tent 2180′
Ah-Di-Na CG – Castle Crags State Park
27.3 (3.5) miles; 1505.8 (58.7) total miles; 3366.8 trip miles
Deer count is 90
Marmot count is 51
Bear count is 5
Rattlesnake count is 4
Pika count is 2
Last night some car pulled in late to the campground and had their bass turned up. All I could hear, as I fell asleep, was the drum from whatever song they were playing. I was pretty low down so it was kind a muggy. I slept okay. I was up at 4:30 since that’s when Kevin and Gavin were going fishing. I figured I could beat the heat. They only gave me a ride to the campground entrance, but it saved me a little walking. I hoofed it up the dirt road and was on trail by 5:31 AM.
The day started with a 5.8 mile climb at a reasonable grade. Nothing much went on during the climb except for me sweating. I descended to Trough Creek, and then some more to an unnamed creek, where I stopped to get water. Even though I was supposed to descend to Squaw Valley Creek, I did a fair amount of climbing. When I got there, it was very pretty. It was a miniature gorge and had a nice bridge over it. I took time to admire the view since I knew a 7.5 mile ascent followed.
The climbed started steep then mellowed out to a moderate grade that slowly wore at you. I got great views of Shasta and Castle Crags. Both were beautiful. When I got to Girard Ridge Road, I stopped for a snack and made a few phone calls. From Girard it was all downhill. The trail was so nice, I wish I could mountain bike it. It would be a blast. I descended until I hit Fall Creek and at that point I had lunch. It also marked me hitting the 1500 mile mark. I still had 1600′ of descending to do, but it didn’t take me long.
I got to the road and started a 2.5 mile road walk to the PO in Castella. I got there and only had about a half hour to organize my 5 boxes of goods and ship out what I didn’t want. I was overwhelmed; but the nice lady running the PO stayed open 15 minutes late so I could properly go through my stuff. She really saved my day by doing this. I got my arm warmers, thinner shirt, new wind screen, new socks, and more. It was Christmas in July. I went to the store next and got a Coke, ice cream, and cup cakes. I sent my emails, too. It was then off to the campground.
The way from the front gate to the site was so long and seemed round-about. I finally got there and met three section hikers, who were just finishing for the today. We chatted a bunch and then we all cooked. After dinner I went to take a shower. God, did that feel good. After showering, it was getting dark but we talked some more and the ranger pulled up with two more hikers. It was Silver and Backtrack. They had just made it to the store and now just got to camp. I stayed up a bit to chat then had to call Sam, who it turns out was at her sister’s Tracy bachelorette party. After that it was off to bed for me. My left heel is sore, I need to slow down when going downhill. I’m slapping my feet down and it’s wearing on me.
Scatman 2011-The trail was either up or down today. There was lots of both. By the end of the last descent my legs had had enough. Having a road walk to finish with didn’t help either. Overall it was a tough day on the body. When I got to the PO I was simply overwhelmed. I would have cracked if the nice lady running the PO didn’t give me that extra 15 minutes. I had so much to look through and sort out. Hands down logistics are the hardest part of doing a thru-hike, it’s not the physical effort but the mental effort it takes to plan before and during that is so draining. More than once I got overwhelmed by it. In the end all you can do is stop and take a deep breath. Because hey, it’s only a small part of the experience and shouldn’t stop you from the rest.
Get out there!