About midday today as I chugged up another bushy hillside I heard a worrying ‘pop’ and all the weight of my pack sagged onto my shoulders. The canvas strap that was laughingly called a hip-belt by the designers had given up and I had to rig up a replacement using two straps that came with my sleeping mat. It’s no less comfortable than before but I’ll need to find a new way to secure my mat next time it rains.
Hoping to reach Castella before the post office closes on Wednesday I made today a long one by getting on the trail at 5:30am and not getting off it until after 8pm. I took breaks for lunch and dinner but mostly it was walking. And it’ll be the same tomorrow and the next two months I guess. Today was more endure than enjoy but it did get me to a great cliff-top view of sunset right next to Mt. Shasta. I’m sleeping on rock slabs tonight, each up to a few inches thick and a couple of square feet in size. Hopefully the lumps beneath me are in the right places and I’ll fit right in, no bed of soft pine needles tonight.
I forgot to mention a few animal encounters recently. On Saturday when sitting with Chigger and Stretch a carpenter ant crawled across my hand. I was just about to take a great macro photo when the little git bit me! According to tv I should soon develop ant-like powers of lifting 20 times my weight (like my pack isn’t heavy enough now), the ability to climb up walls and the idea that biting something a million times bigger than me is a good idea. It wasn’t, as the ant would tell you if he wasn’t dead. And an ant.
The next day I saw a skunk, or was it a cat with a white stripe painted on it? I had to make a lot of fuss to get a snake off the trail later and today I saw a massive bird of prey, an eagle of some sort I think. Its wing span was at least 4ft.
Lesson for the day: Though I can do 15 miles in the morning on less than 2 liters of water, that does not hold true for a hot afternoon.
I arrived at Moosehead Creek springs very thirsty. As I filled my second bottle the condensation on the first made it so appealing I drank the water before even bothering to treat it. We’ll see how wise that was later.
More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Old Station to Castle CragsDistance today: 30.9 miles. Total distance: 1454.3 miles