I hiked at a very leisurely pace this morning. Some of my hiking partners were meeting friends at a cafe in Old Station, but I have plenty of food so I chose to skip it and lay in the shade for a while instead. I went to the Subway Cave trailhead to rest during the heat of the afternoon and check out the cave, a thousand foot long lava tube.
I filled up on water because a thirty mile waterless stretch on the Hat Creek Rim started next, and it is very hot and exposed in addition to being dry. I did run into some southbounders who told me that the water cache in the middle of it was full though, so I did not have to carry as much water as I otherwise would have.
I had meant to hike out by 3:00 and get halfway through the dry stretch tonight, but then I ended up reading until 4:00, and my friends showed up just as I was leaving the cave, so I explored it again with them and went back to the trailhead to cook dinner since it was about that time any way. I told myself I would still do the miles and just night hike it.
Once up on the rim, there was a great view of Mount Shasta, which I am now walking towards. There were also giant cows. The sun was low and I was walking toward it, so I had my head down to shield my eyes, when I just happened to glance to the side and see the cows a few feet away. I assume I didn’t startle them as much as they startled me because they just stared at me. I know I’ve walked through plenty of cow fields before on this trail but this is the first time there have been cows in one.
The rim is exposed so I had pretty good light later than if I were in trees. It was a beautiful sunset. Once it became full dark though, my night hiking plans went by the wayside and I just wanted to go to sleep. I set up my tent at the next campsite and set my alarm for early in the morning to try to get as many miles in as possible early since the rim is so hot. Only 17.9 miles today.