July 21, Day 91 – Settling for a flat spot

We almost always take full advantage of the hotel check out time and spend as much time there as possible. This meant today we weren’t leaving until noon. We spent the morning doing laundry, eating a big breakfast, doing our resupply and completing any other chores we had. As I was waiting for a table outside of Black Bear Diner, Martha introduced herself. She was on a road trip around the American West but was spending the day resting in Shasta. Resting for her meant driving hikers to and from the trail all day. She offered the 4 of us a ride and all of our worries for the rest of the day were gone. It’s a great feeling to be able to tell your friends that you already have a ride planned when they show up to eat. After a big meal, we hop in Martha’s car and are back at trail by 3. We had a big hill to climb and I was moving slow after eating 3000 calories in one sitting. The tent site I intended on camping at was full when I arrived at 9 so I pushed another couple of miles and ended up camping right on the trail.

We don’t always set ourselves up for success. Tonight was one of those times. There were a lot of hikers with the same plan as us and they beat us to the campsite we wanted. When I arrived at camp just after Rambo I realized there wouldn’t be space for all of us. Since I was in front I decided to keep hiking and let the others have the few spots available. After a couple miles I was getting pretty tired and found a nice flat spot right on trail. I didn’t expect anyone to come hiking by that late and I intended on being up and out early the next day. I prefer not to camp on the trail but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Miles: 16.9 Total Miles: 1518.1

Castle Crags from the west side as we climbed out of Shasta City.

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