Day 102: Castle Crags

July 25, 2017: Hiked Miles 1493.9 to 1500.7 + about 8 miles up to Castle Crags and back (14.8 total)

We fell asleep last night watching as a lightening storm crept over Mt. Shasta in the distance. It was far enough away to not hear any thunder, but the lightning just kept striking. It was awesome. Until we woke up a couple hours later to rain drops coming into our tent. We scrambled outside, not quite awake, and threw the rainfly over the tent and staked it down. Of course once we got back inside the tent, the rain stopped after a couple minutes. Oh well. I was wide awake after getting up so abruptly and it took forever to relax and get back to bed. But eventually I did and woke to a beautiful morning with the sun beating on the mountain. It doesn’t get much better.

After we packed up and ate and reluctantly pulled ourselves away from staring at Mt. Shasta, we wound our way down the mountain toward I-5. And then it was attack of the bugs. It was insane. They were flying in my eyes and in my ears no matter how much I tried to swat them away. We tried spraying ourselves with mosquito spray but apparently that only works on mosquitoes. Weird huh?

We finally made it down to the bottom and passed over the train tracks.

We crossed over the Sacramento River and under I-5 and then started climbing our way back up. We were planning on going into town to resupply and get back on the trail tomorrow when Colton’s mom meets us, but since it was so early we decided to take a day trip up one of our favorite hikes, Castle Crags.

The climb up is steep and even though it was only 10:00 in the morning, it was already hot. We were drenched in sweat by the time we got to the top. 

When you reach the end of the trail, you can scramble up some rocks and have an amazing view of Mt. Shasta while looking down 1000 feet at the canyon directly below you. 

I always reach this point and have the same three feelings: exhausted from just busting my butt up a steep mountain, terrified from being so high up on the edge of a sheer dropoff, and blissfully peaceful looking at such an amazing view of God’s creation. This time was no different. I love this feeling. If I could wake up every day and climb a mountain and feel this way, I would be in heaven. Oh wait, I am. 

We sat up there until a few other hikers showed up and things got a little crowded. We sped down the mountain, back the way we had come and crossed back under the highway. 

A guy in a car pulled up to us as we were crossing the road and offered us a soda. He told us he has section hiked most of the trail and decided to bring some refreshments out to hikers as he was passing through the area on his way back home. We definitely accepted a cold drink, thanked him, and ran down to the river to cool our feet and legs off and grab a snack. 

We hung out there for a few minutes and watched some locals fish and enjoyed the cool water.

A couple of Colton’s family friends, Sue and Scott, live close by here so Sue picked us up and brought us to her house in Weed. No she didn’t bring us to her drug house, the name of the town is Weed. Although I did find it ironic that as we drove through town we did pass a couple weed dispensaries. Their son hiked the trail in 2014 and Sue picks up hikers quite often so they’re very familiar with the trail.

We showered, did laundry, and she fed us a great dinner of pasta, salad, and garlic bread. Just what hiker hunger called for. We sat outside on their back porch, ate, laughed, shared stories about the trail and other hikers, and gazed at yet another amazing view of Mt. Shasta. 

Scott drove us down to the store where we resupplied for our next seven day stretch. We came home, finished laundry, packed all our stuff, and relaxed. 

Colton found a new friend:

Sue made the mistake of leaving us with a giant bowl of watermelon. 

We only crave watermelon literally every day on the trail. There might not be any left by morning. 

We watched a movie, I finally got a bunch of old blog posts uploaded after having technical difficulties with the Wi-Fi when we were in Burney, and then Sue offered us ice cream. She knows the way to a hiker’s heart. 

We sat outside and watched the sun set on Mt. Shasta and played with the dog. 

Colton made the mistake of throwing the ball for him. Now they’re inseparable. 

Everything about staying with Sue and Scott has been amazing, even down to their inspiring bathroom reading material. 

We are so grateful for their hospitality. 

Now it’s 10:30 and I am more than ready for bed. Getting spoiled all day is hard work. Tomorrow Colton’s mom joins us for a week on the trail, we’re so excited!

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5 thoughts on “Day 102: Castle Crags

  1. I agree with Jeff, in the previous blog, your journal is ten times more injoyable than TV. Thank you again, so much, for taking us readers with you on your increditable journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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