Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 100 - Butcherknife Creek to campsite near pct mile 1501.6

I was hoping to do a shorter day today, finish early, and leave an easy 11 miles into Mt Shasta for tomorrow. Idan had other plans.
The main problem with my plan was that it required dry camping in the middle of a 10 miles waterless stretch. But I figured we'd just carry enough from the Squaw Valley Creek for our camp.
The trail up to Squaw Valley Creek wasn't too bad. We had some climbs, but it was almost all in the shade. The day was hot, and we were dripping. Bit it was nothing we hadn't seen in the previous days.
When we got to Squaw, I went in an awesome dipping hole for a dip. It really felt good. By the time I dried and put on my clothes, I felt like dipping again.
It was rather early in the day, and Idan was intent on doing the extra 5 miles to the end of the waterless stretch. That would make tomorrow much easier into town, but today would become harder.
At the end I gave up. Getting into town that early might also mean we wouldn't have to zero on the next day, which would earn us another day. Besides, it was early, at 14:30, and we can hike those 10 remaining miles easily in 4 hours anyway.
What scared us the most was that Halfmile's app said there would be a 3400 feet climb in those 10 miles. After the first 5 miles, we still has 1400 feet climb left. Checking the map, we couldn't see any major climbs. The app was wrong, it was an easy descent all along. That was a very nice surprise.
The bad surprise came along after passing the first, and then the second water source. They were both on the ridge line, with no suitable flat spots nearby. Continuing onward, I started to think we might make a really long way and reach the highway. Bit 1.5 miles later we crossed a first road, and found a flat campsite for us. An easy day of less than 5 miles tomorrow.
Halfmile's app insists we have a 680 feet climb tomorrow, before we reach the interstate. But again - according to the map, it's all down hill from here. I am sure next year's data would be much more accurate.