Day: Saturday, August 6th 2016
Miles: 1408.1 – 1426.1
Burney Mountain Guest Ranch 1408.1 – Screwdriver Creek 1426.1
By now you’re all familiar with the routine. I get up, I eat, I walk and then do something similar but in reverse in the evening. When you get to stay somewhere different however it’s just incredibly nice to have a nice tent site available with searching for it, to have breakfast put in front of you, to not worry about digging a morning cathole (sorry to be blunt) and then to be able to get on your way without laborious cleanupAfter and repacking. That being said, the vacuum of a place certainly doesn’t mean that you escape early and Burney Mountain Guest Ranch was no different. I eventually departed around noon intending to walk for about 10-11 hours and finish up late. In between these hours I would resupply and hopefully enjoy the splendor of Burney Falls, a notable waypoint on the PCT and certainly a large photographic milestone.
The trail after leaving the ranch was incredibly hot and dusty and I immediately regretted not leaving earlier. Regardless the miles had to be made and with a little motivational help from a trail magic stop at the highway I crossed after a few miles, the distance passed quickly arriving to Burney Falls in the late afternoon. The falls are quite beautiful although the huge amount of traffic and passing day trippers necessitated a quick stop, avoiding wasting too much time other than to stock up, knock back an energy drink and start back on the trail with my old friend Flint and another hiker I had been reunited with back at the ranch, Ambulance from Melbourne.
Soon after hitting the trail and the PCT crossed over a huge dam, the sun setting beyond prestaging an evenings haul uphill towards Mt.Shasta, about 2 days further on. We later passed Rock Creek and a beautiful trail bridge with waterfall, some small features along the trail in a zone that more than anywhere else seemed to represent the changeover from dry mid-California features and weather to thickly forested and rural, unpopulated far-Northern California. An area of tree clad ridges and much more signs of greenery and regular rainfall.
Eventually reaching Screwdriver Creek with Flint around 11pm, I settled into a cowboy camp exhausted but happy with progress for the day, making up for the rest without needing another in the process!