July 25, 2017
Mount Shasta – Indian Springs Stream (1498.7-1501.96)
Well, we went to bed last night with the best intentions of getting out of town at a decent time and putting in a 10 or 15 mile day today. Obviously, that did not happen. The morning started off slow, as the bed in the cottage was incredibly comfortable and extremely hard to get out of. I had coffee and leftover pad thai for breakfast, and it was amazing. By the time we had gotten everything organized for the day and were ready to get a ride into town, it was almost 11. Oops.
Bubba dropped us off in town, and we said our goodbyes to him and the kids. Thank you so much, Bubba!!! Our first stop was the post office, where I got to pick up my new shoes, which makes an exciting day for any thru-hiker. The new shoes are an awesome bright blue, and I got them on sale, so I’m pretty happy with them. After we had finished all of our postal service related chores, we went next door to the natural foods grocery to get some lunch. Mount Shasta is like hippie central. Picture lots of dreadlocks, tie dye, bare feet, and a crystal shop on every corner. It’s a pretty interesting place. Town can be a pretty overwhelming place, coming out of living in the wilderness, but everyone we met was so friendly and welcoming. We got some amazing tempeh burgers at the cafe in the grocery store (I also had a kombucha, to fully assimilate to the hippie vibe). It was sooo good. I highly recommend eating there if you’re ever in town.
After we had eaten, we headed over to the grocery store to resupply. As I was checking out, the cashier noted that it looked more like I was going to the movies than going hiking. Honestly, my diet out here is pretty abysmal. Although, my food bag does currently contain chia seeds and dehydrated fruits and veggies, so I guess it’s not completely hopeless. When we were done resupplying, we headed over to the local coffee shop to use WiFi (and spend way too much money on baked goods and caffeinated beverages), which is where the true time suck occurred. We were there for at least a couple of hours doing all of the internet things, and it was almost 4 in the afternoon by the time we finally left. Our hopes of getting some decent miles in were quickly going out the window.
We headed over to the interstate ramp to try and get a hitch back to the trail, and eventually a woman pulled over and offered us a ride to Dunsmuir (the next town closer to the trail), which we happily accepted. She was super nice, chatting to us about our hike as she drove. I swear we meet the friendliest people whenever we hitchhike. It was one of the things I most dreaded before starting the trail, but I’ve come to really enjoy it. She offered to drop us off in downtown Dunsmuir (which we would have been smart to do), but we opted to hop out just off the interstate to try and hitch the final five miles back to the trail. Unfortunately, no one seemed to be getting on the highway at that point, and most of the cars were just driving straight through to the downtown. Just as we were about to give up and walk into town to try and hitch from there, a dude in a tie dye shirt pulled over and saved the day. He went out of his way to take us to the trail, and we were so happy to be back.
By the time we finally started hiking, it was almost 5:30, and we resigned ourselves to the fact that we were doing a nearo. There was a campsite marked 3 miles away, and we just made for that. We’re camped with a girl from Germany, and tonight is her first night on the trail which is pretty exciting. With the way timing is going to work out, we’ll be getting into our next town, Etna, on the weekend, and we both have to pick up important packages at the post office there, so we’ll have to wait around til Monday. This means that there’s no big rush this section (there was just no way we were getting there before the post office closed for the day on Friday), so we’re just going to take our time and really enjoy it. We’ll be going through what sound like some pretty fascinating and beautiful areas over the next few days, so I’m definitely excited.