Day 116, August 27, Chester to North Fork Feather River, 9.34 miles (15 km)
By 2pm I was ready to get back in the woods. I woke up this morning at the church still feeling very tired and decided to stay in my tent for some more napping time. By noon I felt a bit more energetic and broke up camp. I went for a burger in the nearby gas station and by 2pm I was standing at the road, ready to get picked up by someone that was willing to drive me to the trailhead. An 88 year old man stopped after only three minutes of hitching and by 2.30pm I was back in the woods, on my way to Lassen National Parc.
There is a bit of planning involved in this section since you are not allowed to camp in Lassen NP if you are not carrying a bear canister. Most PCT hikers sent that thing home over 300 miles ago so we have to camp before the boundary of the parc and the next day after it’s northern boundary. In the parc there is one official campground which we can use as well. All of this is to educate the bears so there are no encounters with humans.This meant that I was only going to hike a maximum of ten miles today.
I started off going uphill in the woods for a few miles. The gradient was very gradually and the first hour I had already covered more than 3.4 miles (5.5 km). I was surprised with my progress.
The rest of the walk went through forest, now and then crossing unpaved roads, until I had my first views towards Mount Lassen. It’s a nice rocky mountain with still some snow patches holding on to it. And the mountain more or less seems to stand on it’s own in a big area of forest.
When I came to the wooden bridge over the North Fork Feather River I felt like I wanted to go another two hours. Problem was that Halfmile and my maps did not list any campsites and sometimes you can walk for hours in these forests without seeing a proper spot to camp. So I called it a day and by 6pm I was relaxing on my mattress while writing this.
Little story. Halfway in my walk today I saw a book on trail. Someone must have dropped Shakespeare’s Macbeth without knowing so I decided to pick it up and see if I would run into it’s owner. When I arrived at my current campsite there was already a couple set up, the man reading a book. I asked if he might have lost a book and soon the book was handed over to it’s owner.
When I went to collect water from the river I saw a piece of a waterfilter and this also belonged to the man. I told him not to loose his wife. He laughed.