I had been planning to try to hitch into the small town of Burney to resupply. However, during the lunch break yesterday JC had talked about a place called Burney Mountain Guest Ranch, which was near the trail . In my guide book it didn’t say that you could resupply there, but it had come under new ownership and apparently now had a good resupply, so I decided to give it a go and have the town as a back up.
It had been very warm last night, so I had waited a while before it got cold enough to put on my sleep clothes and I must have partially awoken mid night to put on my sleeping bag. I didn’t get a particularly early start, which is to say that I got up at five am. After a few miles I got to a less volcanic area which unfortunately meant the return of my fiend, poison oak. There were a lot of plants and it required some creative acrobatics to circumnavigate them. I very lightly brushed against two leaves, unfortunately. Fingers crossed that it is too little to matter. After a mile or so they became rarer but remained more or less ubiquitous throughout the day.
Still early in the day I reached the guest ranch, which turned out to be a really nice place. I started with a shower followed by a dip in their swimming pool. Awesome! After that I had breakfast there despite already having had breakfast when I woke up. I then did a resupply in their well stocked and not too overpriced store, which had a nice selection of hiker food. I also got some more charge on my electronics. I didn’t really need it but it is always nice not to have to think about running out of power.
All of it at the guest ranch was based on the honor system, so you wrote everything that you used/bought on a prefabricated table on a sheet of paper and payed when you left. There were no personnel in the store to monitor it, for instance. The owners were friendly and strong Christian believers. There where pictures of Jesus inside, designated praying areas, and a gigantic cross in metal outside. I didn’t mind. The important thing was that they were good and kind people. If I hadn’t just zero’ed in Chester this would have been a fantastic place to do so.
I hiked on in a very nice mood. The strong heat that was already manifest at eleven am could not do anything to change that. The next section had lots of yellow grass, small bushes and trees here and there. That made for a decent scenery.
By midday it had become cloudy which took the edge of the heat, though it was still very warm, but also humid. A few drops of rain fell but it quickly stopped again without anything becoming wet.
A bit later I reached “Burney Falls State Park” harboring the namesake falls. I didn’t recall hearing about them before today, so I had no expectations whatsoever, but was very pleasantly surprised. After a short side trail I got to the falls, which had two main streams as well as dozens of tiny water streams that formed a mesh like pattern on the mountain side. Despite having seen tons of waterfalls, this was definitely one of the nicer ones. There were also a lot of other people there, who had come for the falls.
After having admired the falls for a while I went to the nearby general store. At the time I was the only through hiker there. I had a root beer float. Then I had another one. I hadn’t seen CopperTone since around mile six hundred, so I had started to miss not only the encounters with him but also the floats.
Shortly after I got back to the trail and hiked on. It wasn’t that eventful. The trail crossed a dam and there was some irritating poison oak, but I think I got around it. I had planned to do twenty five miles today, but there had been bear sightings at the cam site I had planned to go, so I decided to camp slightly before that at a camp site with a bunch of other hikers as it made me feel more comfortable. Today was a nice day and I hadn’t expected anything from it when I woke up.
This days miles: 1403-1425