July 19, 2016
17 Miles + 5 miles into town
I take it slow this morning as I know I have a pretty easy downhill hike today.
The trail moved through Castle Crags and the weather was hot. I was once again thankful I did this section southbound as I knew it would be a hot climb out of Castella going north.
The scenery was nice down through the Crags and then an undulating few miles to end it out at the interstate.
I managed to get a little solar charge this morning to take a few pictures for the books. I pass a rattling rattlesnake, my first sighting in the 700 miles I have accomplished on this trail.
I reach pavement at 2:45 at the same spot I hiked to a few weeks ago. Northern California is complete.
34 days over the past 3 years and 700 total PCT miles completed. It looks like my original goal to hike from my east of my current address to my hometown might be finished off next year. What happens after that is unknown, but I do want to finish the whole trail one day.
I remember what a section hiker said to me when we crossed paths a few weeks ago above Burney. We were talking about her strategy of finishing the trail and my goal to get to Bend then chip off all the other sections to end with Northern Oregon and the High Sierra as my last two portions of the trail. She had a good point to do those sections first as well as Northern Washington as they are very pretty sections. She said, ‘You could get hit by a bus tomorrow, so hike those sections when you have the chance.’
This is a discussion for the end of next season, but for now I am just 240 miles from reaching the first place I hiked on the PCT some 39 years ago.
I do my walk back into Dunsmuir the same path I took a few weeks back. Washed up in the same little creek culvert under the tracks, Manfredi’s for a Gatorade and beer. I went to grab dinner at the same nice restaurant, Café Maddelena, but realized they are only open at the Thursday – Saturday, so I settled in at the brewhouse. I ordered an Elk burger that was to die for. Cooked to perfection and full of flavor.
I stuck around until closing then headed down to catch the midnight train South.
I witnessed a meth manufacturing deal where this rotten semi toothless middle aged man from down near Sacramento was talking to this younger post college graduate local resident about moving material and how he could fulfill the order in 3 weeks. It made sense that the train provided a pretty good mode of transportation as there is no checking of ID, scanning of luggage, or anyone who seems to care what goes on and off the train. It made me feel a little uneasy about the train, but still a step up from a Greyhound Bus.
I made it back into the San Francisco Bay Area in the morning, where I walked through Berkeley to get to BART, where I managed to get across to San Francisco, where I walked over to the Ferry building to catch a Ferry home. A little after noon, I was home, resting my feet after a nice long hot shower.
Next week we have a long weekend family backpacking trip into Northern side of Yosemite and then summer will be winding down as the kids prepare to start a new school year.
This concludes the 2016 PCT sectioning.
Until next year when I find my way back to Siskiyou Pass and carry on to the North, the blogging will resume
60+ thru hikers, and I stopped counting…the herd has arrived.
2016 Stats: (Burney to Ashland)
- 300 Miles
- 56,186 Feet Elevation Gain
- 59,097 Feet Elevation Loss
- -2,911 Feet Gain/Loss
Overall Status: (from 2014 start at Sonora Pass)
- 700 Miles
- 120,485 Feet Elevation Gain (22.82 miles)
- 130096 Feet Elevation Loss (24.64 miles)
- -9,611Net Elevation Gain/Loss