Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Day 74 - Lassen Volcanic National Park

Sunday June 28

Chester was a fun town to visit. The stores were close by and the food was good. I'm glad Willie had the idea to stop here. 

I had two breakfasts. The Kopper Kettle had a wonderful Denver omelette and the Best Western had a good selection for their Continental breakfast. I called Pipers Mom, the local trail angel, and she took us to the trailhead. Cut-Finger and Caboose got a ride as well. 

Since we didn't start hiking until 8:45, we weren't sure how many miles we could do. However, it was partly cloudy, so the temperature would be lower. Much of the morning we hiked through forests with few views.

By 11:30, we had hiked nine miles and made it to the North Fork of the Feather River.

We decided to hike to the Kings River, another twelve miles away. That would give us over twenty miles total today and the location has camping next to the river. 

We soon entered Lassen Volcanic National Park. Mount Lassen is the largest plug dome volcano in the world as well as the southernmost member of the chain of Cascades volcanoes The trail passed by Terminal Geyser and Boiling Springs Lake. There was a strong smell of sulfur, and the lake had mudpots, boiling springs, and fumaroles. 

By 4:30 we made it to Kings Creek, having hiked 21.5 miles. That's not bad considering our late start. 

Of note today was the lack of reliable water. I use Guthook's PCT guide which shows reliable sources for water. When we started today, it appeared that water would be found every four to five miles. In reality, it was every eight to ten miles and one "reliable" source (a lake) was more like a soggy mosquito-infested meadow. I always carry around two liters, so I didn't have a problem. But  Willie was almost out of water a couple of times. Hopefully he will carry a bit more from now on. 

I am camped at PCT mile 1356.9. The elevation here is 5,585 feet. 

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