2007-07-18 The Spice of Life

July 18th, 2007

Variety is the spice of life so I was almost glad to realise the sound I heard at dawn was not a sprinkler but actual proper rain. I was even more glad that I was inside at the time.

Thanks to Sarge and Debbie I stayed warm and dry this morning while other PCTers were probably getting their first soaking in months. With limited computer access and constant rain we stayed indoors for most of the morning and I caught up on a missed episode of Curious George and Clifford – The big red dog.

Sarge drove me to the trail, via the deli to get me a sandwich. I have to hand it to the Americans, they sure make the best.


It was still raining slightly when I started but the change was good and it made the air cooler for two hard climbs before the trail leveled off around Swan Lake. The novelty soon wore off as the rain soaked undergrowth brushed against my trousers and into my socks. I’d stuffed energy bars and snacks into various jacket pockets so that I wouldn’t have to open my pack in the rain. This and the easy terrain kept me moving pretty fast. There were dry periods but mostly it got down to a light drizzle that was comfortable to be in without a hood. Before I knew it I’d reached Badger Flat, the halfway point to Old Station. The rain was fading away and I glimpsed Mt Lassen with heavy clouds rolling over its shoulder. The day got better and I carried on along the damp trail with no dust for a change. Not surprisingly I didn’t see anyone until I reached the holiday village (mobile home park) at Old Station. Georgi Heitman (who gave me a lift down to the kick off) came to pick me up and I’ve been chatting with other hikers-in-residence here. Chigger, last seen powering off towards I-10 a couple of months ago, is here. She’s been really sick and is finally taking the time off to kick what ever she is plagued with before continuing north.


Mt Lassen

The house is interesting. Lots of things hanging down everywhere. Sweet, homely things, nice quotes, cute pictures of country cottages, baking trays and old-time food tins. The grounds are large and almost everyone is tenting out there. I’m in one of Georgi’s ones, “the flamingo suite”, named for the pink flamingo stakes that secure it. Some of them are mine that I won at Kick Off and, had Ol’ Skool, Vortex and Blue Sky made it this far we were each to carry one to the border. Now I’m the only one left and I’ll have trouble convincing anyone else to take them on.


More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Belden to Old Station

Distance today: 23.5 miles. Total distance: 1376.7 miles

Google Maps

6 Responses to “2007-07-18 The Spice of Life”

  1. Caitlin Says:

    it makes me sad that you’re the only flamingo-er left. i should have stayed on the trail. but i’ll be back in a few weeks and i’m looking forward to seeing you.

  2. Craig Says:

    Yeah, I was looking at a photo from Idylwild that Chigger showed me. Ol’ Skool, Bayou, Pink Gumby, Vortex, you, Potential 178 and me. hmmm

    Well I won’t carry all of those silly things. Maybe I should leave 3 here in case any of the crew make a second attempt. One is definitely getting it’s photo in Canada.

  3. Denis Says:

    Better leave one for Potential 178. He’s plugging on as far as I know. He made it to Kennedy Meadows Resort (the northern one, mile, 1018) on July 16th

  4. Caitlin Says:

    maybe send one ahead to somewhere for me? yours will obviously be the winner since it went the whole way, but perhaps mine can tag along and be friends with yours. i wouldn’t want your flamingo to get lonely out there.

    also, are you still going to be in/around etna on the 30th? cause i was thinking that maybe i could get a ride up on the 29th (a sunday – easier for working folks parents or friends to drive me), camp on the side of the trail somewhere and then start up again when you come through. that way i wouldn’t have to jump right in with the long uphill to ashland. it looks like it’s fairly flat for the first 25 miles or so out of etna, then there’s a nice downhill to siead valley where i would love to watch you take on the pancakes! what do you think?


  5. Caitlin Says:

    well, i just tried to leave you a comment, but it didn’t seem to work. i’ll try again, the abbreviated version –

    1) want to send a flamingo ahead for me? then ours could be friends, even if yours was obviously the winner in the race to canada.

    2) are you going to be in/around etna on the 30th? cause i was thinking that maybe that would be a good place to meet up. i could get a ride up on the 29th cause it’s a weekend, camp on the side of the trail and you could wake me up as you walk by or something. that way i could start out with some nice flat and some downhill before the uphill out of siead valley.

  6. Denis Says:

    Sorry, the comments above were delayed. The spam filter decided they needed to be checked by the moderator (me). I’m not sure why. Maybe this talk of flamingoes was suspicious.