Date: August 2, 2017
Miles: 9.4 miles (15.1km), from Highway 36 to North Fork Feather River at mile 1,338.2.
Health: Feeling little rested but my body still graves for more rest.
We wake up lazily at 7 am. I could still sleep longer, the soft bed feels amazing, but we need to get moving and the continental breakfast downstairs is calling our names. Sam basically sprints out of his bed for breakfast while I take my sweet time.
Once I get downstairs, Sam has already devoured a couple of plates. He's young and needs his calories. It's not quite what I would call a continental breakfast, but it's better than what you'll usually get here. I enjoy the fresh strawberries and yogurt, drink as much orange juice as I can, and then eat as much non-hiker food as I can stuff down. Sam still beats me but I'm just happy to be sitting down and eating, not having to cold soak anything.
After breakfast, I head to the Post Office hoping they have my new battery bank. I want to have some time to recharge it before we leave the town. Meanwhile, Sam goes to vegetate up to our room.
On my way to the Post Office, I check out the two sporting good stores on the main street to see if they'd have something that could be used as a hiking shirt. I also look for Altra Lone Peak shoes for Sam as his current ones are basically sandals at this point. The shops don't have the gear I'm looking for, so I head to the Post Office.
I show my ID and tell the worker that I'm expecting two packages but she only comes back with one, the Amazon order. My bounce box hasn't arrived yet from Sierra City. She tells me that they still haven't sorted out the latest delivery from this morning so my package might still be there. She tells me to come back after 11 am.
I get back to the hotel and put my new battery bank to recharge. Compared to my old one, it's huge. And heavy. But I'm really running behind on the blog posts and unless I can start editing photos while hiking, there’s no way I can catch up. And for that, I need more power than the small 10,000mHa battery can provide.
Sam tries to order new shoes from Amazon. The next few towns we go through don’t have Post Offices so Amazon doesn't allow him to ship there. I was also planning on ordering a new shirt to those towns but now I really need to find one from here. I can't hike in this heat with a shirt that doesn't breath at all.
I take one last shower and then we have to check out. Before getting back on the trail we still need to eat lunch, do resupply, and check if my bounce box has arrived at Post Office. We walk to the other end of the town to the Pizza Factory for their all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. On the way there I notice a fishing store and as Sam doesn't mind, we head there to see if they'd have a shirt I could use.
The shop is a small one and the selection very limited. But they have one Simms shirt that's meant for fishing in the hot sun and as I try it on, it feels really cool, breathable, and I really like the look and feel. It's white so it's going to work better in the sun, but it's also going to look like trash after a long section on the trail. But at this point, I don't mind. I just need something that I can comfortably hike in. The gentleman running the shop also comments on the shirt and how he's wanted one for some time now, and seeing it on me and hearing my positive comments, he wants to get one as well.
I leave the shirt on and we move next door for the pizza buffet. I'm so relieved to finally have a shirt that works in the sun and in this heat. We eat pretty leisurely and jokingly talk about staying for another night and just heading to the hot tub outside our hotel. My muscles and body would definitely like the extra rest, but we need to keep moving as the winter doesn't wait.
I use the time in the pizzeria to finish recharging my new battery bank. The new one uses two charging cables so it recharges much faster than the old one. Where the old one would take 8-10 hours to fully recharge, this new one seems to only take half of that. And it has almost three times the power. That's quite impressive. That means less time waiting in towns for electronics to recharge.
After pizza, we head back to the Post Office as we're both shipping some gear back home. I check if my bounce box has arrived – It hasn't. I leave my forwarding info at the desk and they'll just forward it to Ashland when it arrives. I love how awesome the American Post Office is! This hike would be so much harder without their great service. Definitely beats the Finnish postal service 10-0. I send my old shirt, battery bank, and some other small gear back home.
Next, we need to do our resupply. We only need a few more days of food, and then snacks, but we both go overboard and end up getting way too much food. This always happens. We sit in the lobby of the market to enjoy the cool air while repacking our food bags. My back is way too full and heavy.
Now it's time to get back to the trailhead. After only a minute of hitchhiking, we get a ride from a nice gentleman who tells us he's going out tomorrow to give burgers and pizza as trail magic for passing hikers. Oh man, we miss that by a day. Maybe Sunshine will get that? I wonder how far back she is. She'll probably catch us soon.
During the drive, the gentleman tells us about the fires we've been seeing. Apparently, they've been set on purpose by someone. We wonder who would be so stupid. We also hear that in few days the temperatures should drop a little, making it a bit easier to hike. We thank him for the ride and start getting ready.
From the trailhead, the trail feels easy and while we're moving slower with our over packed packs, we move at a reasonable pace to the creek where we planned to sleep tonight. We can't hike very far as the Lassen National Park border is coming up in fifteen miles and we can't enter the park without bear canisters. As we don't have them anymore, our only option is to hike through the park without sleeping in it. It's only about twenty miles so we'll easily do that tomorrow.
We set up our shelters, eat dinner, and get to bed. It's great to be back on the trail after a little rest in town.