tiffany's pct journal

California Section O: Interstate 5 (Castle Crags) to McArther-Burney Falls State Park.

Days: 63 - 65.
Dates: September 4 - 6.
Trail mileage: 1151.9 - 1234.1.
Distance: 82.2 miles.

Town breakfast is the best. We stopped for breakfast before heading back to the trail. It was delicious. The downside: it was expensive and the portions were definitely for normal non-thru-hiking people.

town breakfast
Getting ready to pull some miles

We had a climb out of Dunsmuir, and it was a hot, hot day. The climb was steep and very exposed in parts. It honestly kind of sucked. I hiked with Yahtzee for a while, and it was nice to hike with someone for a change.

filtering water
Hiking with friends is refreshing after always hiking alone

Later in the day, we started hearing thunder and seeing lightning, so we were worried it might rain. I messaged my partner on my Garmin to ask if it was supposed to rain, and he told me it wasn't. We put up our rain flies that night anyway, just to be safe.

The morning after, I brought up that I'd had a weird dream last night that there was some serious rain the previous night. Blue and Yahtzee responded that it actually had heavily rained last night. I thought they were kidding because my tent was dry by the morning, but apparently it had just dried really fast in the early morning hours. Good thing we put the rain flies up.

More annoying climbs the next day, but I realized I was definitely getting faster and stronger. Before I left for the trail, I could reliably hike about 2 miles per hour. That day, I was able to maintain 2.7 miles per hour for about 15 miles, going uphill. It felt great to be getting stronger, because I never really had before I began hiking later in life.

climbing up the hill
A surprisingly quick climb, for me anyway

That evening, when I reached camp, Blue was already in his tent. As I was setting up my tent, he said, “So I think I'm going to wake up at 4:30 in the morning and make the push to Burney tomorrow.” I responded, “Alright, I guess I'll see you never again then,” since I knew Burney was still about 36.5 miles out.

mountains in the distance
Clouds, doing something cool

We back-and-forth-ed a little, and he somehow convinced me it was worth it to try. I said that if I woke up when he did, I'd give it a shot.

Luckily, he wasn't quiet while taking down camp, so I ended up waking up before 5:00 AM.

It was a very flat day, and surprisingly not as hot as I expected. I ran into another rattlesnake. Same game as last time, didn't see it until I almost stepped on it and it rattled at me. To be honest, I don't remember all that much about this day because I was just focused on getting to the end of the day.

mileage sign
We're almost halfway there!

When I reached Barney Falls State Park, I decided to walk in to check out the water, but I didn't stay long. I wanted to reach the highway to Burney before it got too dark to hitchhike. I had just under 8 miles left, it was 4:30 PM, and I was committed to getting to town tonight.

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