Considerably buoyed by the audio-visual mood enhancers sent from home I had a really good day, especially considering the numbers. Over 4,000ft elevation gain, 27.6 miles and all done in 12 hours.
The climb up the Castle Crags was a steep one so I was glad to be getting it done early. Once I got to the ridge it was much easier and I just dawdled the day away eventually catching Gary Myers and Old Corpus at my target water source, a trail side spring so clean and cold I drank a litre straight away. About an hour before that I passed three boxes near a road. Brad has set up a PCT cache there but all the edibles were gone. The only stuff left was soap, lip-salve, bug repellant (which I took) and a large number of new socks.
I ate well tonight, which is good because I am very low on snacks and will try to eat little tomorrow. I had instant noodles mixed with instant gravy, instant mashed potatoes and tuna. While that was settling I made Maple Bulgar in a pouch from a kit I found in the hiker box in Castella. It’s a kind of wheat breakfast thing, and went well with the strawberry jam Bear Bait had given me. Yes, I am full and it feels great. Two nights ago you could have put a plank of wood between my hip bones and it not touch skin. Tonight I have a belly!
I also have a great view. On an open gravelly saddle I’m watching the sun set and turn Mt. Shasta pinky orange. I won’t be here for sunrise but I expect I’ll still be on the ridge.
Today’s food fantasy: Slushies! A giant cup, one of those brightly coloured ones you see in malls continuously rotating, and when you suck it down you can hear the ice in the back of your throat. There may not be one until Ashland (185 miles away) and by then I’ll need two!
More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Castle Crags to EtnaDistance today: 27.6 miles. Total distance: 1533.6 miles