Day 83 mile 1407.1 – 1424.7
Elevation: ascent 1,580 ft, descent 1,463 ft
Even with our big day yesterday we woke up without an alarm at 6:00. Both Double Down and I were expecting to have trouble getting out of the tent after the big miles yesterday, but to our surprise we actually felt pretty good. With our plan to get to Dunsmuir this Saturday it allowed us to shoot for lower miles today and work in some luxuries.
We tried to pack up quietly as the Thing family, who made it to camp with us last night, was still asleep. Then we were heading off towards Burney Mountain Guest Ranch for a brief stop. On our way there we past by Crystal Lake and fish hatchery as well as Baum Lake (which is suppose to have good fishing). From there it was about 2 miles to the Burney Guest Ranch.
The temperature was increasing pretty quickly this morning and it felt like it was going to be a hot one again. We made it to the junction for Burney Ranch at about 8:15 and then had a short 1/4 mile walk to the Ranch. On the way in we saw an Osprey and it’s nest high on a power line. Being so excited about getting showers and doing laundry we forgot to grab a picture of it. However, not sure it would have come out anyway since it was so far away.
We were greeted by Linda who runs Burney Mountain Guest Ranch and is super hiker friendly!! She informed us that she was staying open for thru hikers only at this point in time due to all of the restrictions that are going on with COVID-19. She explained that she felt comfortable with us coming in since there are far fewer hikers this year and knows we basically stay socially distant, due to stink and dirt 😂. We got a quick run down on the place and how things work. Then it was off to shower and do laundry. YIPPEE!!!!
After our shower and feeling like a million bucks we hit the general store there for some breakfast burritos and cold drinks. We also got an introduction to “Duke”, a Great Pyrenees. He was a super gentle giant and Double Down and I used this time to get our dog fix. After eating we went to work on chores, like hanging clothes on a clothesline to dry, blog stuff, resupply details and organizing our packs with the food we had delivered here. As we were doing this a car drove up and out popped Skytree and Thursday who we hadn’t seen since the Sierra. Skytree’s visa is expiring in early September so she and Thursday are flipping around trying to catch as much of the PCT before then, but won’t be able to complete the whole thing.
About an hour later the Thing family showed up and they were followed by Mantis and Pants. This feels like our little traveling bubble, but Double Down and I know this may be short lived as we may get further up the trail than either of them today. At 1:00 we figured it was time to get back out on the trail as we really wanted to get to Burney Falls today. So we said our goodbyes and left in the heat of the day. I know not the smartest thing but we figured we could live with it.
Well it only took about 20 minutes into our hike to realize the temps today were really hot, even with the both of us using our umbrellas for shade. I made a comment to Double Down saying that “our showers and laundry didn’t fully take” as we both were back sweating and layering on a nice film of dust from the dry trail.
We had about 9 miles of hiking to get to the falls and over half of that was through some very exposed and dry trail. The heat today definitely got to me and I was feeling super lethargic from almost being over heated. Nothing serious but just made me wish I could walk into a air conditioned building and stay there for a long time. So conversation was at a minimum and it felt like we were just trying to get the miles in. Hard to look around and enjoy it when you are feeling like that. Guess it was mine turn to struggle today.
We made it to Burney State Park at 3:30. Following Burney Creek to the Falls helped to rejuvenate me a little as these Falls were high on the bucket list of things we wanted to see. We made it to the Falls a little before 4:00. Wow, it did not disappoint either of us. This waterfall is spectacular and is quite the site to see!!
After hanging out at the falls for a while we grabbed our stuff and headed over to the General Store. We made a plan to cook dinner there before moving on another 5.5 miles to camp. While we were there I grabbed us each a soft serve. Man did that hit the spot!! We then made dinner but it was hard to get down. Trying to eat a hot meal when it’s in the 90’s is not easy. It was nice though to be able to clean up and throw away trash before we left.
On the way out of the park we ran into a family that was vacationing, and they asked if we were hiking the PCT? The husband said it was my beard that gave it away…LOL!! We chatted for a bit, but Double Down and I knew we needed to get going as it was still bloody hot and hiking another 5.5 miles didn’t sound great to either of us.
Not long after leaving the Falls we got to cross a damn that holds water in Lake Britton and then feeds the Pike River. So cool to see how much water was being poured into the river, which is intended to keep it cooler for the trout that live there. I guess it helps keep them flourishing since they don’t do well in warm water. The next hour and a half was rough as it just felt like sweat was pouring off me. So when we finally reached Rock Creek to get water I was relieved knowing we only had .2 miles to go to camp.
We got to camp at 7:40 and went straight into our set up mode. We both got cleaned up as quick as we could since we were being attacked by mosquitoes!! How can there be so many around here when there isn’t any water…UGH!! Once cleaned up we dove into the tent for the night. It was difficult just lying there, talking about our day and plans for tomorrow, since it felt like we were still both sweating. We are praying for cooler temps during the night.
This heat is suppose to only continue for the rest of the week so hopefully my body figures out how to deal with it. Thanks for all of your support! Link