Destination: MM 1392ish
Cumulative Miles: 969 Miles
When camping in an area infested with ants, do not leave your pack outside the tent over night. We woke this morning to Psycho's pack so covered in ants, we were surprised the collective of ants did not carry the pack off into the forest. Psycho spent the better part of twenty minutes beating ants of all kinds and sizes off of all the nooks and crannies with his socks. Even later in the day, he kept finding more ants crawling all over it.
We started our hike this morning with a short three mile walk to the Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery. Along the walk, we passed a deer who seemed lost. She kept walking back and forth, with little concern over our presence. Briefly, we felt that the deer was more interested in following us, rather than doing whatever it was doing.
At the hatchery, we loaded up on water for a 30 mile stretch of no water. Not wanting to put on our extraordinarily heavy packs, we lingered for 90 minutes before facing the reality of the trail ahead. As we made a small climb away from the hatchery, we approached Lassen National Park. The landscape was overrun with lava long ago, and so the vegetation was interrupted by sink holes of porous brown-black lava rock.
Roughly ten miles into our day, we ran into some northbound section hikers. They told us of a water cache which was well stocked, and only eight miles away. We immediately sat down and drank copious amounts of water to lighten our load. We even offered some to the local vegetation. After the short re hydration break, we climbed up onto the Hat Creek Rim. With the valley floor below us several hundred feet, we walked along a cliff side of lava rock with stunning views of the mountains around us.
At 5pm, we arrived at the water cache, located just off Road 22. The cache supplier has creatively named the cache, "Cache 22". Lawn chairs, plastic flowers, and pseudo garlands awaited us under a built up canopy of sticks, twigs, and branches.
We pulled into camp a few hours later, where we watched the sun set over the hills and mountains. Tomorrow, we will rise early, to beat the expected 100 degree temperature. Ideally, it'll be a quick 15 miles down to Old Station.
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