Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 34: June 27, 2012

June 27, 2012.

Day: 34    Daily Miles: 43   Total Miles: 1484.25   Hours Hiking: 14.5   8:50am-11:30pm

Listen to the audio journal above or Download June 27th Audio File Here

Day 34
One of the first good views of Mt. Shasta,

June 27, Day 34. I made it to mile 1484.25 for a total of 43 miles. I made it to the ridge separating the McCloud River and the other... like Trough and Squaw creek canyons, and camped on a really disused jeep road on a saddle. I may have camped there in 2009 - I know we camped somewhere close to that. Anyway that point was 0572834 E 4552664 N. Ohh, where to begin on yesterday. It was an awful day. Not super demanding with terrain, but just mentally and physically a bad day. I hiked until ohh, 11:40 or so the night before and went to bed probably at 12 something-or-other and in the morning I couldn't wake up really. I was behind this tree on pine needles, pretty comfy actually and the sun was up shining... I was on the eastern slope. I just would wake up, look and go ugghhh, and go back to sleep and I basically got up at 8am and didn't get up on my feet and moving until about 8:50am, which is a reallly late start. That's almost 10 miles behind a normal day. So that didn't start anything off on a good foot. You know, I was just like 'you got a little extra sleep, you feel better, so if today is going to be a bad day... if you started of bad, it usually just keeps, or continues..that feeling like I'm behind, ohh no'. All day long you're like 'I had today grrr.' So I was just trying to tell myself to just walk my normal pace and wherever you get to, you get to. Just try and make it to 40 miles. So, I, just couldn't wake up really. My mind just felt kind of foggy for most of the morning, and that makes things hard. You're not really paying attention and you're just kind realize you're walking and can't zone out. You think like 'I'm foggy, I'm walking...why am I doing this, blah ba blah, ba 
blah...'. So, I just kept going, busting through the brush in section O. Forested slopes, fairly steep with some good views of Shasta. At one point you kind of come out on kind of do a lot of rim walking, on the edges..on ridges..on the edges of pretty big canyons. A lot of the places, until the evening were on volcanic soils that erode away quickly, forming these steep cliffs, or these slopes with manzanita , so it's not really tall trees, so you can actually get a view. I kept going, kept going, kept going... I tripped myself up with a pole and fell completely for the first time and cut the back of my heel/ankle, an inch or so above where the top of you're shoe would be in the area actually where there's this big rough gnarly typically open sore, because it's where the foot/skin flexes. Like the skin in the back there accordions as you take a step and your foot pivots. I was talking to Chimichanga about this, and that pretty much all fast hikers that he's talked to - because we were trying to figure out what it's from - have it and it looks like its from just use. That it becomes a sore, a rough spot, that gets caked with dirt because we take so many more steps everyday and therefore use it so much more. But yeah, it's painful. Plus the edge of your shoe - the back top edge of your shoe likes to kind of rub that area too, which does not help. Anyway, I cut that a little bit, then proceeded into a logging area, which I had to do about 7-8 crossings where the trail just completely disappeared for about 10-20 feet among these big huge Caterpillar tracks and there was just piles of crap on the trail. Not very good. Went up and up and up. Passed some springs and creeks. On top of a ridge I remembered there were good views back towards Lassen and where I had just come from - about the previous 20 miles. I actually got to eat a big burrito and a hot pocket yesterday from Burney Falls, the extra food that I had brought along. So that was a little bonus. I was at about mile 20 or a little less than and I was on this ridge below a lookout tower - and it's kind of slanted trail because
Mt. Shasta will be visible off and on for 200 miles, until into OR!
it's on the side of a steep hill and it slants on the downward side...and all of a sudden I got this terrible shin-splint like pain on my left shin. I had felt it a little but before a couple days back, but this time it was kind of hobbled from it. I had to limp along at a bout 2mph. That lasted for about 3-4 miles. Then I took a break after I got off the steep slope at a road and had lunch and stuff. After the break, it didn't come back nearly as strong {bad} but it did come back a little bit towards the end of the day because from that road it was a 10 mile downhill to the McCloud River. I did see a whole bunch of bear crap on the trail, and then I found the bear. It was eating berries on the trail at a point nearly directly beneath the lookout tower on Pigeon Hill I believe. It was one of those instant reactions - it didn't see me as I came up to it... I was about 20ft away and my body realized what it was and before I had a chance to think about it, I yelled at it and it tooook off. I went like rawwwhh, and it shoooom, running down the trail. So that was fun. On the downhill towards the McCloud, it wasn't so bad. I actually found out that... my feet started hurting after the break...the two cracks I have on both my feet between the toes, my shin splint a little bit, my heel, just places started hurting. But I did find out that jogging, not on a steep downhill...that jogging made it feel better, so I jogged for little bits here and there. I actually came across two more bears, this time a cub and a mom. However, there was a big ponderosa pine between me and the mom. They were probably 50 ft up the trail and I didn't react the same way as before, so they didn't know I was there and they couldn't really see me. So I stopped, got my camera out. The cub was closer to saw me and took off into the bushes while the mom just looked at it like 'What the hell are you doing?' *laughs* because she couldn't see me. She kept eating. I used the tree to sneak up and then held my hand out from behind the tree and took a couple photos of her zoomed way in before I was noticed.
Trailside bird nest.
Once that happened she took off down the trail as fast as she could. So that was cool, three bears in one day. I'm up to 5 total. From there, the downhill wasn't so bad. It started getting warmer - you start at about 6,000ft and drop to about 2,500 ft. It just turns into a drier, rockier, steeper cliff, transferring from the pines more into the oaks. Poison oak started. That's fun, always, because it likes to overgrow the trail because the cliffs are so steep that anything that is growing above the trail liked to hang over the trail. It wasn't so bad on the way down, but on the way up from the McCloud, which I hit at about's a really pretty river, a couple people fly fishing... the trail turned into the poison oak slalom at night with a flashlight. I'm so glad I grew up in an area with poison oak because I can identify it really really well, it's like second nature. But it was...*laughs*...the bump and jive to try and miss it all as you're trying to climb up a steep hill at night. I managed to not really hit any, it was awful. It did not make my day any better. It made the end of it bad. I did take half a caffeine pill at the bridge because I knew I wanted to make it up the hill and my goal was actually 44 miles, just so my average wouldn't suffer. But, I got 43. Actually one of the worst things of the day was that on the way down towards McCloud bridge, my big toe on my right foot just started hurting like it was rubbing, or that's what I assumed anyways because I had just gotten new shoes. Pressing on the toe hurt, so I stopped to investigate and I started looking at it....the left edge of my big toe was where it was hurting and was kind of red. So three days ago, just before I hit the midpoint, I actually had to trim the nail, because the nail was digging into the skin and hurting. So I was pressing around, pressing around then all of a sudden puss just squirts out onto the nail. I mean not like just a little but quite a bit. My immediate reaction was "ohhh shit" *laughs*. Because, you know, an infection that you can't fix can definitely be a hike killer. So I clean that off and press some more, and again a big squirt of puss. And again I was like "ohh no..!" So I finally cleaned it completely out, got my neosporin,  
One of the 5 bears I saw within 3 days.
crammed it in there with my knife tweezers. My foot felt better, obviously, because there was so much pressure built up there from the puss. After that, it didn't really hurt anymore. Upon checking it again that night, there didn't seem to be anymore puss and it didn't hurt nearly as bad when I laid down for bed. So just a culmination of thing made yesterday awful. I got a good camp spot at least, made 43 so the day wasn't a total failure. I should be up in the 48's, but that goes to show that if I would wake up and push as hard as I do, I can easily make 50's, which I hope to do today. Today, I've dropped down over to Squaw Creek and then get to go way back up and then drop down to I-5, then go up the Castle Crags climb, which getting to the top of that climb will be somewhere in the 40's or low 40's. So that'll be good, to be up and above towards the end of the day. But I know I have to climb kind of in the afternoon, which is going to suck and be hot, because the weather just started warming up again. Like yesterday was warm, it felt like the normal temperature versus the cold that we've been having with the storms coming through. But we'll see. I woke up 5:40am and got my butt in gear and started walking at 6:20am, so here we go!
The long ridge exposed ridge walk after the first very good veiws of Mt. Shasta. Down to the McCloud River from here.