Day 123, September 3, Burney Mountain Guest Ranch to Burney Falls to Lake Shastina, 10 miles (16.1 km)
A mixed day of hiking, checking out the crowded Burney Falls and two hitches. It keeps on being an adventure!
Progress of the day:Left the ranch this morning in the company of Bill. Soon we each had our own pace and walked on our own. After a few miles I came upon the Wild Bird Cache where some trail angels stocked some lemonade and pretzels. I enjoyed both and soon Bill arrived. We sat together for a few minutes until we continued our way to Burney Falls.
The hike went pretty much all the way through forest.
I got to the falls and damn, there were so many people, too many for my comfort. My mood turned into a not so great one, it reminded me of my day in Yosemite Valley. I walked down between the herds of people to see the falls from below and took some pictures. I made my way out of there pretty quick. Too much of a contrast with the quietness of the pct. But the falls were beautiful! It was well worth it.
There is a store in the Burney Falls State Park and I went over there to get a cold drink. When I was ready to go inside, Bill showed up. He was not too happy to be in this crowded place too. We bought some beers and went over to a pic-nic table in a quiet corner of the park. We talked for over an hour. The last few days I always had a nice time with him. The man is 64, just retired and was ready to spend a long time in the woods. He started early April at the Mexican border but went home for a few weeks to wait out the harsh conditions in the Sierra’s. His plan, so far, is to hike to the northern end of California and continue his hike next year.
The man was also part of the people that introduced Yosemite to the world as a mecca for climbing. In the beginning of the 70’s he lived in the infamous Camp 4 for over two years. I mentioned it before but I’ll do it again, if you have Netflix, check out ‘Valley Uprising’.
Around 2pm we said our goodbye’s to each other. Bill was gone hike a few more miles and I was heading over to the road to start my hitchhiking adventure to Crater Lake. I got picked up by a guy, his girlfriend and a visiting friend from Peru. The driver is working for Facebook in Silicon Valley. All three of them are Peruvian but only the visiting friend still lives there. They drove me all the way to the little town of Weed which was way further north than I thought I would get today. I changed my plan from hitch, train and bus into a complete hitching adventure.
Soon I was back on the road with my thumb in the air but this time it took me almost two hours before I got picked up by a girl from New Zealand that is on a two month holiday in the US. She said she planned on camping near Lake Shastina but was willing to drive me to Crater Lake in the morning. That was more than ok for me! Instead of buying train and bus ticket and arrive there tomorrow late afternoon I will now be at Crater Lake well before noon without spending a dollar. I love how things can work out!
By now it’s well past dark and time to close my eyes. Crater Lake tomorrow!