Miles 1382-1398 (16 miles)
Are we back in the desert again?! Lol. It sure feels like it. Damn I am so glad I have my umbrella. This whole section we are up on hat creek rim which is this gigantic exposed plateau. The trail goes right along the edge of a 1,000' cliff. It's really, really cool. Only downside is there was a huge fire here in 2009 so the whole area is bare. And it's toasty!! Like, temperature probably in the 90s. I really enjoyed this section though. The views were pretty rad.
But holy forest fire batman!! So all day today it was smoky and exposed and ash was falling from the sky. At one point I turned around and saw tons of smoke billowing from somewhere in Lassen forest. There's a fire back there, 1,500 acres. Dang. I feel like we're dodging forest fires this whole section! We just got away from the Belden fire and now this Lassen fire is behind us, and I heard there's a fire 100 miles north by Dunsmuir. So we're walking towards another fire. Yikes!!! I hope all the firefighters are ok. One of the other hikers said they saw a plane dropping off smoke jumpers. The plane would circle around and 2 people would jump out of the plane at a time. What a badass profession. But dang I imagine the NorCal forest service firefighters would be spread thin, with so many fires in the area. :( Yay for firefighters! :)
In the early evening I came across an epic cache! Thank you trail angel who maintains "cache 22" (called so because it's by forest rd 22). It was like a little oasis. We ended up hanging out there for a long time. I took many photos. Hence we only did 16 miles. Lol. Ah well. It was sooooo awesome! They had tons of water there which was wonderful. It made this whole dry stretch no so dry :)
This whole area reminds me of Hawaii. <3. I miss home!!!! :) Mt.Lassen is still an active volcano (even though it hasn't erupted in forever). This morning we checked out the "subway cave", that's the pic of Kyle by that dark hole, it's a huge lava tube. Kyle has never been in a lava tube before, so it was fun to check it out. It's cold in there!
We left that oasis/cache around 9pm with the intention of night hiking, we didn't get too far because my headlamp wasn't at full power. I haven't changed the batteries in a while. Dangit! But it yeah...I don't like night hiking without full headlamp power, it's really sketch balls. Especially since I don't see well at night, and the rocks and the dirt are the same color here. Lol.
There's a lot of rattlesnakes here. Dangit! Now I gotta be on the lookout for those guys, as well as poison oak.
Oh, you can see Shasta in the distance. I think I took a pic of it, it's covered in haze from the fire though. But that's the mountain with lots of snow on it.