PCT Day 79 – Saturday July 1
Burney Mountain Guest Ranch Mile 1407.2 to Mile 1404.4
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 2.8
Total PCT Miles Hiked: 902.9
Feet Ascended Today: 53
Feet Descended Today: 375
Current Elevation: 3014.4
I spent today primarily relaxing at the Burney Mountain Guest Ranch, doing resupply chores and waiting out the heat of the day to hike out. It was forecast to be in the triple digits so we tried to lay low and conserve energy. Luckily, this is easy to do at the Ranch as it’s a very comfortable and welcoming place for hikers to stay.
The next section of our hike will take us up Hat Creek Rim, which is renowned to be one of the hottest and driest sections of the trail. As fate would have it, we will end up doing that section of trail during a heat wave with 100+ degrees. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue after our experiences hiking in the desert but it doesn’t sound especially pleasant. So we plan to hike early in the mornings and late in the evenings, and to siesta during the heat of the day.
I was glad to try on my new shoes today. I went up a half size to size 10 and they fit great. I had put 450 miles on my old shoes and I was really feeling it the last hundred miles or so. Poor Monarch had some new shoes shipped to the ranch as well, but they never made it. The shoes were accidentally shipped to Burt Rancheria instead of to Burney Ranch. She has over 650 miles on her shoes and her feet are really sore as a result. So, she’s going to try to have the box forwarded to the next town. Fingers crossed!
We settled up our tabs and hiked out of the Ranch around 5:30 pm. We only planned to hike about 3 miles and it was an easy hike as it was mostly flat. The trail wound by Baum Lake and I could see a lot of fishermen – mostly fathers and sons – fishing together. Eventually the trail went over a small dam which powered the attached small hydroelectric power station. One fisherman was puzzled to see so many hikers walk by and asked me about it, so I told him all about hiking the PCT. He had a lot of questions but that’s pretty normal – I have this same conversation on almost a daily basis.
We set up camp next to a creek, which was the last reliable water source for the next 13 miles. The air was thick with mosquitoes and we were all in our tents quickly to avoid getting bitten. It was like World War 3 in my tent until I smashed all the bugs that made it inside. I used to try to shoo them back out again but I’ve given up on that. Opening the door of my tent just invites in bugs faster than I can shoo them back out again. So my tent is now covered with smashed mosquitoes and little blood smears.
I kept hearing an intermittent whooshing sound coming from behind my tent that was quite disconcerting at first. Eventually I figured out that the sound was coming from a large pipe filled with water from the lake that was piped across the field behind us. I put in my earplugs to drown out the sound and eventually fell asleep.