Day 95 – From Domingo Lake to Hat Creek, mile 1367

July 24.

Slept pretty well, got up 5.30am. Taking down my tent became a challenge – the ground was so dense that I could not get some stakes out. Had to dig them out. With that, I was late and decided to have breakfast on the go. Started hiking 6.15am, chewing on a poptart and later a cliff bar.

Came back to trail quickly and entered Lassen NP.

Boiling springs were the first volcanic sightseeing spot.

Chatting with another hiker Bottomless.

Came to Drakesbad at 8.30am – just in time for breakfast. One hot plate with scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy and all you can eat from the buffet – including yogurt, fresh fruits… PCT discount was just 9.75usd. 😎Shared the table with two other PCT hikers.

Moved on 9.30am – need to do at least 20 miles today to get out of Lassen NP, possibly a bit more if I want a tentsite with water.

Lunch break at Lower Twin Lake, mile 1355 at 1pm. 13 miles done, decent.

Walking for miles through the burnt dead forest. A breeze coming towards me is welcome – quite a heat today. But the sweating is better than yesterday – I feel I am getting back my strength.

Suddenly a loud crack and a big branch drops next to a dead tree to the right of the trail. I startle – but it was nothing.

That breeze is maybe the reason why I nearly run into a deer. It is just standing there, maybe 5 meters in front of me and seems to be sniffing. I quietly talk to it and it jumps away.

I have to pass through Lassen NP on one day since bear canisters are required for overnight wilderness usage. And I have sent my canister away right after Sonora pass – like probably 99% of all hikers.

Cactass and Tinkle had even seen a bear with cubs when walking through Lassen NP two days earlier.

After talking this photo, I was looking at the trees for a while. I took a sip of water and turned back to the trail when I saw a big black bear strolling towards the trail, this time maybe 30 meters away. Taking out my camera, I started quietly talking to the bear. The bear stopped, looked in my direction and lifted his nose to sniff. And again – with the wind coming towards me, it seems he couldn’t identify me. For a few moments, it just looked at me like. I coughed. It ran. Wow. Now I know why they say don’t run from a black bear. Despite the size, it ran away fast through the forest with branches cracking.

Short break at the border of Lassen NP at mile 1363, 4.30pm. 21 miles so far – all other miles today are optional.

Made it 6.30pm to a tentsite at Hat Creek. Pitched my tent, washed in the river (again! 😜), also rinsed my shirt. Hat chafing issues under my left arm again – might be the salt from too much sweating. While eating mashed potatoes as dinner I realized that I am still not very hungry. Strange – considering the 25 miles of today. Might have to do with the long break I had due to my cold.

Good day – more miles than I thought. I feel tired, but from the walking, not the cold.

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