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California

To the Top June 10, 2015

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Woke up at about 8ish.  After yesterday being so bad, I figured a late start might give me more time to recoup.  Got back to Bob Hat trail junction and started heading north.  Kept crossing quite a few streams.  As the trail kept getting higher and higher, I ran into a small sandy brown rattler.  He was very hard to see in the shade.  Luckily, I saw him just enough time.  The difference with this lil one was he curled up in a ball.  He was also quite shay and timid.  I pushed him off the trail so Baldor wouldn’t step on him.  Had to keep hiking till I hit the spring, since I was low on water.  Set up camp in a saddle.  As I was eating mac and cheese, a massive beetle came flying in at like 10 mph.  The darn beetle hit me right in the chest. It actually really hurt.  I swatted him to the ground and stomped on him till he was flat as a pancake.  Closed the door on my tent, just in case any other beetles where on suicide missions.  With tons of elevation I got worn out.

Knotts

Awful Sequence June 9, 2015

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Rough night sleeping with 90% of everything soaked.  Threw all my wet clothes on and hit the trail.  Not Long after hiking I came across a tree that blew up from a lightning bolt.  Shrapnel shot 30-40 feet away from the tree starting smaller fires.  The stump of the tree was engulfed with flames.  I thought someone had a nice bonfire going, but I was wrong.  Got cell signal and called in the fire to have someone keep an eye on it.  Made it to the north side and ran into endless shrubs over the trail.  The bushes were sponges soaking up all the water they could get.  I got doused with every step I took.  Eventually hiking with wet socks turned into giving me blisters on the top of my toes.  Now with blisters on top, athletes foot on bottom, it couldn’t get any worse.  But it did, I got a brutal headache on top of that.  Made it to the outskirts of town, just had 1.5 miles to the turn off.  Got lost, which turned into taking twice as long for coming down into Castella.  It felt like the longest day ever.  Made it to Castella or other words, the town that included a gas station and a post office.  Hung out drank some pop and downed my peanut butter chocolate chip tortilla shells.  Made a nice fire and hung out the rest of the night.

Knotts

Rain Go Away June 8, 2015

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Didn’t get very much sleep.  Staggered my way back to the trail.  It was quite warm in the morning and only getting hotter.  Came to a long hot open ridge, where you could see the trail drag on in the baking sun.  No shade in sight.  Eventually, I made it to the top where the trail flopped to the north side of the mountain.  The shade was much more relaxing.  With not getting any sleep the night before, I was drained.  I laid down for about fifteen minutes.  I woke up to the noise of thunder shooting back and forth between mountains.  The lightning bolts were beautiful to see racing across the sky.  Ended up down pouring on me the rest of the day.  Dropped down to McCloud River, which there was a nice place to set up.  Figuring the foliage tomorrow morning would be just as bad, I kept going…  About four miles up, I ran into my first black bear.  I was about 25 feet away from the bear and he still didn’t notice I was around.  I slowly backed up and said, “Bear Bear.”  I was by a creek so he still didn’t hear me.  I said it again a little louder.  He glanced over and ran about fifteen feet behind a bush.  He was sticking his head under the brush to watch where I was.  I ducked my head down and said it one last time.  He jumped up and booked it out of there.  It was funny seeing a bear try to hide behind some small brush.  Accomplished a couple more miles in the rain before finding a decent spot to post up my shelter.

Knotts

Burney Falls June 7, 2015

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Woke up and hobbled my way to the road about 4 miles away.  Hitched into Burney Falls to grab some cream for my athlete’s foot and to buy another pair of socks.  Carrying only one pair was probably my worst decision I made on trail so far.  Hung out and charged everything up at McDonalds.  Boa ran out and stopped a truck to hitchhike back to the trail.  It was perfect, the first truck stopped.  Being it was Boa, it proves that he is the best “Yogier.”  Hiked to 1410 or shall I say “THE CACHE.”  It was unbelievable, they had food, pop, beer, showers, and a solar plug in station.  Hung out for a couple hours devouring pop after pop.  Had a beer with the owners and decided to hit the trail.  Finally made it to Burney Falls State Park.  The falls were breathtaking.  The falls were just as tall as wide, seeping out the sides of the cliffs.  Went up to the store to buy some goodies and found out they have a massive hiker box.  Luckily, I was able to hitch back to Burney later that night.  I needed to ship the bars and gel shots forward.  Found some nice lawn to post up in town at the dentist office and called it a night.

Knotts

Hot and Dry June 6, 2015

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Woke up early like usual nowadays.  Had so much food, I stayed and ate my tortilla chocolate peanut butter with a couple cups of hot chocolate.  Sheep Wagon and I chatted up till the rest the crew got back.  He briefly told me how he worked at hostels over in Europe.  He had tons and tons of tips.  Swapped some info and hit the trail.  It was a 30 mile dry stretch, but thankfully someone posted up 2 water caches.  Luckily, I counted on them and they still had water.  Hiked with Boa the whole day.  Had some lunch at one of the water caches.  Not long after starting up again, I felt a pain in my feet.  I kept walking till we made it to the fish hatchery.  People were fishing like crazy in the river.  Boa and I were both covered in filth, we had to jump in the river.  It wasn’t a problem till Boa jumped in naked.  This guy from across the river glanced over to see what was happening.  Turned out, Boa was just being one with nature.  The old guy made a ridiculous face and put on his sunglasses after he got disturbed by the situation.  HA, the old guy left not long after it all went down.  The other hilarious thing, I saw at the river was Boyfriend/Girlfriend or married couple.  I wasn’t sure.  Any who, the girl was fishing and she caught a massive trout.  The guy was extremely excited, but she showed nothing.  Ha, you could tell it wasn’t her idea to be out fishing.  Ended up on some beautiful soft green grass at the fish hatchery.

Knotts

Old Station June 5, 2015

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Woke up before my alarm went off, which was 5 am.  Everyone was still sleeping.  It was like I never camped there.  It was perfect; it was bright enough without a headlamp and super cool out.  On the climb up after a half mile, I ran into two deer and a fawn.  The adults booked it out of there and I saw where the fawn dropped to the ground.  Tempted to pet it, I walked over to the fawn.  When I came up to it, I couldn’t even see it breathing.  It’s amazing how still fawns can be.  I just got a picture and hopped back on trail.  The whole day I walked miles and miles.  Constantly, walking around and over massive blown over trees.  I made it 23 miles by 2pm. into Old Station.  Scooped up my food box and hung out for a couple hours.  Not long after it started raining again, it was very unpredictable.  Eventually, it stopped and the rest of the crew showed up.  Boa, Sheep Wagon, Cougar, Toast, Lady Hawk, and Paparazzi.  We all hung out for a bit and tried coconut oil with some ice-cream.  It was quite weird at first, but turned out amazing.  Everyone was headed for breakfast at JJ’s Cafe.  I figured I might as well do the same and meet some new peeps.  Set up camp by the gas station with the crew and passed out.

Knotts

Big Mile Day June 4, 2015

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Got going early, about 5:30am.  Hit the trail in full stride.  Was hoping to do 33 miles.  As I started hiking that day, I thought I might have a chance to get to the post office before it shuts down for the weekend.  That would save me a half day, because on Saturday the post office didn’t open till 1pm.  Kept a steady pace to at least keep it an option.  Made solid miles throughout the day and did 42 miles.  I ended up at Waner Valley Campground.  Dropped my pack once a found a picnic table.  It was 11pm. by the time I made it there and everyone was passed out. Made some great diner.  It included two packs of Ramen and a tuna pack.  Ate so fast my stomach hurt getting half way thru the meal.  After laying back and relaxing five minutes, I felt like a million bucks again.  Got set up, threw my food in the bear box, and passed out.

Knotts

June 3, 2015

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Tried getting an early morning start, but it didn’t quite work that way.  I had to repair / restitch my dirty girls.  I was able to catch a ride back to the trail. Hit the trail at 10:30am.  It was already getting pretty warm out.  I had a solid climb out of the Beldon valley.  I had nothing but pretty much 19 miles uphill.  Wasn’t in much of a hurry, I was able to get in two naps throughout the day.  Found a nice spot to post up, right below a peak.

Knotts

Braatens June 2, 2015

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I woke up to a beautiful morning.  I made some wonderful milk and Captain Crunch.  Relaxed and vegetated for one of the most interesting calls yet on the trip.  Brandon Clark called from Real Presence Radio.  He wanted to interview me about my CHWC fundraiser.  Talked for about a half an hour about how everything took place.  It truly made my day spreading love, hope and a helping hand.  I didn’t anything else to do today, besides getting my sleeping pad.  Hung out at Belden Resort and caught up with other hikers.  Eventually, I meandered my way over to Little Haven.  Dropped my stuff off and went to go hang out by the river.  Made a pack of hot dogs and relaxed and drank beer by the river.  Got really curious of how I sounded on the podcast radio.  I listened to it and little more smooth than I thought.  The bugs eventually started coming out.  I packed up and scrambled back to the hiker hut.  By this time, the Braatens got back and we chitchatted a bit.  She was super nice and concerned our feet were clean and good.  Packed and planned food the next couple days.  They also had Yogis handbook for the Continental Divide Trail.  I read as much as possible till I felt sleepy.

Knotts

Belden June 1, 2015

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Could not sleep at all, with a popped pad.  Probably got four hours of sleep.  Impala and I wanted to get to town to check out the store.  Had no clue what we were running into, just knew the population of the town is 22 people.  Got on trail at 4:30 am and thought it was going to be a nice 28 miles.  The downhill part went smooth.  My shins started hurting on declines and I still had 3,000 feet to drop.   On the way down, I saw two people cutting fallen trees with a massive 2 man saw.  Just before the bottom, every bad step would send bloody pain from my shins to the rest of my body.  Stuck with it and made it to the bottom.  Crossed the railroad tracks and walked right into the only store.  Saw there was a crew of hikers just hanging out.  That’s where I met triple crowners No Trace and Unbreakable.  Hung out a couple hours and hitched into Quincy to pick up some food.  On the way to Quincy, I found out the guy that picked me up was the bar tender in the book “Wild.”  Sheryl Strayed was hitting on him.  It was cool to meet an unknown famous person.  Made it to the market and picked up a couple days of food.  Ron drove me half ways back to Belden.  Didn’t take long to get my second hitch back to Belden.  He was an older guy, we talked about the trail.  He said he did some hiking back in the day and now he doesn’t sleep on the ground.  Got back and didn’t stop eating till I fell asleep.

Knotts