a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL
starts with a single step.
Miles 1283.4 to 1302.8 (19.4 Miles) Hat Creek Camp to Warner Valley Campground
We tried to get an early start today, but failed (again), even though we slept really well and went to bed early.
Today we will reach Lassen Volcanic National Park, which apparently has some nice hot springs, Geysirs and a lot of bears!
Since we have no bear canister and camping without one isn't allowed within the park, we have two options: We can either walk through the park within one day, it’s only 19 miles. Or we can camp at Warner Valley campground for $16 a night, where no bear canister is required since they have bear boxes there.
On the way up to the entrance, we pass some other hikers, just crawling out of their tents - so today we are actually not the last ones to set foot on the trail!
Soon after we find a box that looks like trail magic! Yees, hopefully something to eat or a nice soda. When we open the box it is something new: deodorant, body lotion, condoms, a female body spray and wipes. Interesting...
The rest of the day shouldn't be too hard, as we have already put the steepest and longest ascent behind us. But apparently there is still a 3 mile section of snow around the high point. We will see how that goes this time. But we are not too worried.
And indeed the terrain is fairly easy and more or less flat. Lassen is a beautiful park! We pass two lakes, enjoy some stunning views and finally hit the snow. But it isn't too hard. Most of the time the trail is partially still visible and only cover by smaller snow patches.
Despite of the snow, we make good time today and reach the campground by 5 pm and decide to stay the night here.
There is even a guest ranch close by (.3 miles), called "Drakesbad", which offers not only dinner but also hot showers. On the way there we meet "iron" and her friend "point9", two cool hikers who made it all through the Sierras this year, despite of all the snow/storms.
We offer them to share our camp site and they gladly accept.
The shower at Drakesbad feels great - it’s a beautiful resort and the restaurant is cozy. They even provide a special deal for PCT hikers!
We decide to have dinner with iron and point9. We all chose the Pasta dish. (of course, we are still hikers and wouldn't dare to eat a healthy salad).
During dinner, they tell us all about their Sierra experience and adventures. Those guys are badass! The food is good and we even get a lot more bread from another other guest, who collects all the unused bread from other tables and pans it over to us. He surely knows, that PCT hikers can never eat enough! :)
We spend a lovely evening together, share many stories and laughs and eventually head back to the campground around 8:30pm.
In our tent Maya and I watch some more episodes of "Friends" and finally fall asleep at around 9:30pm.