As per usual I got off to an early start. I wanted to make it to Shasta today and also get some chores done to cut out a zero day. It was utterly dark. My headlamp started to falter as I had thought it would have plenty of juice and therefore not charged it. Instead I put my phone in a small pocket using it as as a torch like I had done once before. It worked well enough. I was wearing my thick and warm tights as protection against the poison oak, which the hillside was still festering with. That made me break a sweat right out of the bat, but worthwhile given the density of poison oak. Some of the plants were even conveniently located in the same height as your head. I think I did manage to circumnavigate it, though. The trail ascended and the poison oak disappeared for a couple of hours before returning on the decent but never becoming as dense as in the early day.
The day offered a couple of nice views of Mount Shasta, which stood out as a giant amongst the numerous much smaller peaks. Other than that the nature was a bit bland. I didn’t see Eon at all today, though he was also planning to go to town.
I had thought I would be done with the walking around four pm, but as the day progressed I realized it would be much earlier and I had made it to the interstate where I was planning to hitch at approximately one pm. I had been rushing things and was somewhat feeling that in my legs afterwards, but that will probably be gone tomorrow. Some other hikers had called a trail angel who gave rides to the town “Shasta”, where I was lucky to also squeeze in. The trail angel, Tony, was a retired highway patrol officer. He was muscular, clean cut and probably looked much younger than he was. The thing he had liked the most about his job was helping people in need, but said that the accidents he had witnessed never were pleasant experiences. The question seemed to bring back some bad memories. He gave a brief tour of Shasta from his car, a large pickup truck, and it seemed like he really liked the town and was a well liked person there. He said that there hadn’t been any bad situations between all the people he had arrested and now were meeting again in pubs and bars. The offenders would realize that he was just doing his job, he said. He had also been a bodyguard for some years. We thanked him very much for the ride once we got to Shasta.
I checked into a hotel and immediately went for some fast food at Burger King. I had only had one package of noodles left in my food bag and was quite hungry and somewhat tired. It was a bit sad though, as it seemed like Shasta had some nice place to eat. I got some chores done back at the hotel. While showering, I unfortunately discovered a papular rash had developed on my one knee with looked like three dozen or so small insect bites. It wasn’t really itching. It could be the start of a poison oak rash, so I used some zanfel on it. It could be from two or three days ago. It is no problem whatsoever right now, so I am crossing my fingers that it will stay like that.
This days miles: 1478-1501