Day 73: Westbound and down…

Day: Wednesday, August 10th 2016

Miles: 1508.8 – 1534.2

Disappearing Creek Remote Camp 1508.8 – Upper Deadfall Lake Remote Camp 1534.2

Today would be an early start, at least I had good company to ensure it would be. ActionJackson is running a pretty tight tracking algorithm for following his progress and ensuring he is on time or taking rest days in a way that matches his end date closely so he tends to be out the gap (as we might say in Ireland) early, and if not, due to a very good reason. This morning I heard his movements further up the trail from me and so I decided I better make a move myself. The initial climb was best served with an early start and the sun was sure to be hot on the exposed ascent beyond 8AM. It was around 7:30AM as a result when I hit the trail after some delays filtering water. Let’s just say that Disappearing Creek lives up to its name as it was dribbling in a different place this morning to where it was yesterday! ActionJackson was about a half hour ahead of me but between his ankle injury and the intermittent interruptions of cell service I passed him out early in the day as we both passed some beautiful views of the Castle Crags as well as some signs there are some big animals in the area around here.

The trail followed an exposed ridgetop for most of the morning which provided expansive views in all directions, before descending into some light forest which provided welcome shade. Unfortunately my shoes were increasingly distracting me and the trail bed of rocks was uncomfortable. This impeded progress somewhat but continuing onwards the trail eventually settled into a more comfortable compacted dust covering.

I enjoyed lunch at a pleasant ridge saddle before following a spectacular ridgetop walk northwest with intermittent views of Mt.Shasta the Castle Crags and even as far back as Mt.Lassen all the way to the southeast. I even pulled out my Canon camera for some nature action as the busy chipmunks seemed to be particularly well fed around these parts, munching on nuts and acorns. Towards the end of the afternoon I caught up with ActionJackson again before stopping off at a lake for some foot washing (very biblical sounding) as well as a rest before the final push to our target of Deadfall Lake – another ominously named feature on the PCT where some other hikers AJ knew were intending to spend the night. The final ridge traverse toward the lake was really beautiful with meadows to the north and incredible bright red rock formations on the hillsides, illuminated by the fading sun.

Eventually arriving to Deadfall Lake first, I grabbed a nice padded spot under a shady tree before being joined by ActionJackson, Breakaway, SleepyAndy and Mash. With a dinner of Idahoan potatoes and some comfortable ground underneath, I fell asleep before anyone else, enjoying the moment of solitude with some like minded hikers.

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