Hiking the Hat Creek Rim, the Dryest Section on the PCT

Day 2. Monday, July 23, 2007

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Start: Hat Creek Rim

Miles Hiked: 21.8

Stop: Past Castle-Falls River Mills Road

(N 40 55.315, W 121 30.129)

Audio Journal

Last night was the first time in my life that I didn’t have problems with my hips while sleeping on hard ground. Even so, it was hard to get to sleep. The bugs, heat, and bright moon bothered me. Later on in the night, the moon went down. Then the stars were beautiful. The milky way was very bright: it looked like milk splashed across the sky. Toward morning, it got colder, so sleep felt great in the morning hours.

We got up at 5:45 and packed fast. We were hiking by 6:10. We hiked for about an hour before the sun broke over the ridge and hit us in the face. Beautiful morning, and view on the rim were great. The trial parallels a 600-foot cliff that runs for about 15 miles. The views of the valley below and the mountains on the other side were wonderful. Also, we could see Mt. Shasta, which seemed to grow as we hiked.

The morning hike was mostly flat. We did very well. Our goal for the first day was “road 22”. We got there at 11 am, and that after two breaks – which tells how well the morning went.

The only problem with the rim is that there is no water for about 30 miles from the Subway caves. At road 22, there is supposed to be a water cache that is maintained by trail angles. To our surprise, it was full. But, since we had started with 7 litters each, and we hiked so fast in the morning, we didn’t think we needed any water from the cache. We rested for about two hours at the cache, and ate lunch. While we rested, the day warmed up quite a bit. Thinking that we didn’t have as far to go to the next water, we took off with about 4 litters of water for each of us.

We both ran into trouble by late afternoon. It was a lot hotter. Ken got a bad (bloody) blister on his heal (because he is using his running shoes instead of his trusty boots). I overworked myself in this hot/dry afternoon, and had to break for 45 minutes while I felt really sick.

But, we recovered by the end of the day. We couldn’t make it to the next water spot, so we dry camped, and we are running low on water, even though we had such a good start this morning.

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We are on the rim as the sun rises over Hat Creek Valley.
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The valley is beautiful.
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Looking North at more beauty, with Shasta in the background.
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Looking South from the rim.
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Me, on the rim. As you can see, no shade.