Day 96: Hat Creek Rim Trail Magic

July 19, 2017: Hiked Miles 1367.1 to 1388.2 (21.1 total)

Woke up today to a freezing cold morning. The first time we’ve been cold in a while. We shivered as we ate our breakfast. Coffee did not help me warm up unfortunately.  I figured once we started hiking we would warm up but the trail stayed in the trees and on flat ground and it didn’t help at all. My feet and hands went from frozen to numb and I finally had to stop and put my jacket on before I couldn’t walk any farther. 

Eventually the sun started to rise a little higher in the sky and we did finally warm up. And we passed by a bunch of nice log piles. 

Somebody has been doing some work out here. 

And passed by the worst site for a PCT hiker:

A huge water tank that you can’t get water out of. It’s like they put it there just to tease us. 

Our hiking was easy and pretty, the trail winding through cool forested areas and breezy meadows. 

Eventually we passed over Highway 44, a road I have driven on over a hundred times.

But never walked across. 

Always cool to experience a familiar place in a new way. 

We filled up with water and took a quick snack break at the Subway Caves, but decided to skip going through the dark, cold lava tubes since the day still wasn’t very warm yet and we have both been in them before. Definitely something worth checking out if you’ve never seen them before, though.

We started our climb up to the Hat Creek Rim with a good view of the highway in the distance. 

It was our only real climb for the day and it felt good to sweat and work for a bit. 

All this flat-lander stuff if just weird to me now.

We got up on top, where the long rim trail starts and had a great view of Lassen to our east.

And after walking a bit further, we could even make out Mt. Shasta to our west. It was pretty hazy so I’m guessing there are some fires nearby, smoking out the mountain. But it gave it a cool mystical look.

The rim is pretty much completely flat and relatively easy besides the lava rocks in the trail that you are constantly tripping over.

The views are awesome, probably even more so for me because I know the area and have been to almost everything that I could see.

And the fact that we got to walk toward Mt. Shasta all day was pretty cool too.

The rim is supposed to be one of the hottest and dryest sections of the entire trail, but we though it was actually very pleasant. There was a decent breeze and it was nothing compared to the heat we had in the desert.

We stopped for lunch and enjoyed laying in the shade and watching the birds soar overhead and the wind move through the trees.

After lunch we had pretty much the same views.

But got a good view of the valley floor below filled with trees and lava rock.

I listened to a couple more TED Talks and started listening to another podcast called The Dirtbag Diaries. I haven’t figured out exactly what it’s about yet, but so far it’s about a guy telling stories from someone’s past about all kinds of adventures. And they play good music on the show. Gonna have to download some more episodes to find out.

Colton’s mom and some of her friends bring trail magic out to the hat creek rim about once a week during the summer for hikers, so we pretty much told her she better be there when we showed up. And by trail magic, I mean she is like the Gandolf of trail magic. She goes all out, setting up shade tents, chairs, beer, water, Gatorade, and makes up full plates of actual food for each hiker that passes through. So we were just a little excited. To see everyone, I mean. Not the food. We’re never excited about food…

We could see the radio tower they set up next to from miles out and as we got closer we could see the top of the pop-up tents. When we walked up, everyone cheered and yelled. She had wrangled up a huge group to come help welcome us home and it was so great to see so many familiar faces and meet new people who I have only heard about or met through my blog.

They had a huge spread of food with drinks, chips, fruit, pasta salad, BLTs, and lots of dessert.
She even brought us our favorite beer from the brewery I worked at before we started hiking. 

We had a blast talking with everyone and chowing down. BLTs have never tasted so good.

They all couldn’t believe how dirty we were. I’m not sure why, it’s only been ten days since we showered. And we even washed our feet off in the creek last night. 

We had the most amazing homemade cupcakes that a friend had made. 

Everything is better with oreos.

Other hikers showed up throughout the day and were all so appreciative of all the food. 

Towards the end of the night the sun started going down and we had the most gorgeous sunset. 

Everyone eventually packed up and left as it really started to get dark and we set up our tent, happy and full and watched as the sun finally disappeared and left us with the perfect night sky. 

I feel so blessed to have family and friends that go out of their way to help us and other hikers out and give up their free time to do so. It was such a great way to spend the afternoon, laughing and telling stories, and enjoying each other’s company. Thank you to everyone who came out and made food and helped out! We are so thankful to all of you and had the best homecoming we could ever imagine. Now here’s hoping we can get some sleep and that all the rodents running around don’t try to steal the bananas and strawberries they left us for breakfast. 


3 thoughts on “Day 96: Hat Creek Rim Trail Magic

  1. Trail magic, when you mentioned BLT’s I started to crave one. I love BLT,s, and think bacon is just about the best tasting food you can put in your mouth. For sure, I’m going to have a BLT tomorrow for breakfast. Your mom has to be just about the best mom anyone ever had.

    Liked by 1 person

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