Day 98: Short Day, Big Miles

98. July 17: Mile 1328.82 Chester, CA to Mile 1347.72 Warner Valley Campground 
Another restful town stay. These don’t happen very often for me at least. Having my parents there to help me out was tremendous and having working wifi helped as well. After a breakfast at the hotel we went to the post office to pick up my new kicks. It’s amazing how worn the shoes I’ve been wearing are. The difference is stark. I hope my new pair are the correct size. When I purchased them online I chose the same size as I’ve been wearing, but now that I have them on, they seem small. I hope I don’t get any blisters as a result. 

After saying goodbye to my parents for another three month stint on the trail (definitely realized how much I missed being around them) Glowworm and I headed off on the trail. It wasn’t long, though, until we came upon a rather…interesting scene. There was a fawn that was ripped in half just laying on the trail. Only the half with the head remained. I can’t imagine what kind of animal would be capable of this. It wouldn’t be a bear since they don’t really go after game especially since they only eat berries and fish. It may have been a mountain lion or a wolf since I know that they both live in these parts. Either way, it was certainly horrifying and quite unsettling. 

At lunch we began looking at where we could potentially camp. The initial plan was to camp as close to the Lassen National Park border as possible since we have to carry bear canisters through the 19 miles section that goes through the park and neither of us are carrying them. So we were going to camp at the border and them hike through tomorrow, but we found that there was a pay-to-camp car camping area only four miles after. Since we were making pretty good time we thought we would try to push to make it an almost 19 mile day even though we started at 10:00 AM.  

Just after we got up from out lunch break we came across and unmistakable cooler randomly set next to the trail. Trail Magic! This time it was Gatorade, fruit snacks, and butterscotch candies. So good! Trail magic is by far the most thrilling thing that happens to us out here. 

Throughout the afternoon we kept leapfrogging Zebra and Skittles we first met in the Sierras. The last time we saw them was the day we hiked through all that treacherous snow in Squaw Valley. They wound up taking a week off the trail to go to a wedding which is why we caught up to them. After crossing into Lassen National Park they passed us again and we agreed to split the cost of a campsite ($16) once we arrived at the campground. 

It’s crazy to think that we did nearly 20 miles after starting at 10:00 AM. Just imagine what we can do if we start at 6:00! Should be interesting to see how many miles we can put together. The elevation gain looks favorable for a 25 plus miles day tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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