These posts are created by our sponsored PCT-hikers, and contain their stories and adventures, straight from the trail.
Hiking Home/ Shasta
As we left the shadow of Mt. Lassen we moved into the shadow of Mt. Shasta, which for me meant two things. The first was something that reminded me of Ashland, and Oregon. During high school in Ashland I often skied on Shasta, which was only an hour and a half drive to the south. The second thing was that we would be climbing Shasta in a few days.
As we hiked we had set a date to meet our friends David, Matt and Ed and hoped that we we would be ready to climb this mountain that got larger and larger every day. Once I got to I-5, I quickly hitched a ride to the city of Mount Shasta and heard that Ed, Matt and David would be heading down after work with the gear and the plan to get us on top.
With a one a.m. wake up we were headed up five miles and 7000 vertical ft., with only a view that our headlamps would provide. As the sun was rising it was time to strap on our crampons and and head up the avalanche gulch route. Though there were some quite steep sections, but we made it up slowly under the excellent coaching of David and Matt. The top gave us an amazing view and a great sense of accomplishment.
After putting some Mexican food in our stomach, our friends dropped us at the trail with eight days of hiking left until Ashland. This stretch turned out to be one of my favorite sections, between the Marble Mountain Wilderness and hiking on the back of Mt. Ashland, I had a surprising sense of accomplishment after finishing the state of California. Ashland has been full of great food, great friends, a few drinks and a free massage! With a full stomach and fresh legs, it’s time to hit the trail again and see what Oregon has to offer.
As Rick said, the section after Shasta was one of the best so far. Shasta dominated the horizon for nearly the entirety of it, but the Trinity Alps, Castle Crags, and Marble Mountains all competed with its beauty. As we entered the Marbles I came around a corner and saw that the trail lead straight to a big furry butt. I had finally encountered a bear! It was a very large, cinnamon colored black bear and I followed it for about a minute. I set down my things and tried to get close so I could get a good picture but when it saw me it dove into the bushes. Never have I seen an animal more afraid of a human. The next day Rick and I parted ways – I felt like doing larger miles and potentially getting to Ashland earlier. I ended up doing 44 miles to Seiad Valley which was a wonderful little town full of generous people. I ate breakfast the next day with the owner of the R.V. park, Bruce, and then set out. I got pretty close to the Oregon/California border but decided to spend one last night in California. That night I heard movement and saw the largest spider I’ve ever seen in the states. Apparently there are Northern California tarantulas and one happened to crawl on my bag. When I entered Oregon I let out a shout of joy. I couldn’t believe we had finally finished that ridiculously long state. It had been years since I hiked around the backside of Ashland. It is so wonderful and I urge anyone from Ashland to get out there while the wild flowers are still in bloom. You can actually drive all throughout it too if hiking a lot isn’t your thing As of now Rick and I have been hiking for three months. We did about 950 miles in the first two months and about 800 in the third. 950 to go! Here are some pictures.