Etna -> Dunsmuir -> Burney

A little afternoon nap just off trail
My actual vantage from the previous photo

The day I hiked out of Etna was another scorcher until about 5:00 p.m. when the skies dumped pea-sized hail for 30 minutes. By the time it was over, the soft California soil had turned to a soupy mass of mud and hail pebbles, like hiking in 4 inches of bubble tea. There was no escaping it so I just hiked through. At one point I tried to capture a bit of the storm on video but must have gotten my phone wet in the process and it gave up the ghost.

First palm tree sighting on (near) the trail in Redding, California

Four days later when I reached Dunsmuir I got a 50 mile ride to the Best Buy in Redding, California, purchased a replacement phone, swapped in my SIM and SD cards and was back in business (sent the old phone home in hopes it will be repairable later). The next morning I hitched back to Dunsmuir with a man who told me of his encounters with Michael the ArcAngel and how his cat had been taken by a hawk at the rest area earlier that morning. Needless to say, I have no pictures or videos from Etna to Dunsmuir and its a shame as the section was beautiful and featured a lot more sweeping views compared to the Dunsmuir to Burney section I just completed.

I’ve been hiking along Mt. Shasta for days

Overall I’m in great spirits and my feet seem to be doing better overall than previous hikes. There’s still plenty of soreness at the end of a day, but switching to toe socks and keeping my shoes looser seem to have really made a difference in reducing blisters.

Layered green rows of peaks like these have won me over for northern California
Silty runoff in this river

The photo below was taken about 30 minutes prior to my first bear encounter on the PCT. It was now nearly dark and I was racing to find a campsite I had read might be found just over a mile away. I rounded a corner where the trail transitioned from an open, still well-lit patch to a shady grove that was had to see into. Meeting my gaze at eye level in a tree directly on the trail was what I think was a sow protecting her cubs I also heard commotion in the branches above. I spoke out in hopes she’d take off but she looked at me like “Who is this idiot?” so I back-stepped my way out, set up camp about a half-mile back and waited until morning to go through the same patch loudly- and (to my relief) uneventfully. The next day I got stung by a bee that flew inside my gaiter and I discovered that my bottle of water purifier drops had a crack/leak in it, so the trail has managed to throw a few challenges in at the start here, but as I said, I’m feeling good overall and just very excited to be back out here.

Hiking by the early moon light just before my bear encounter
Nice little walk bridge and excellent water source below
By comparison, a less-than-ideal water source
The pinecones are getting bigger

I’m enjoying a full zero day today, writing this update at the public library in Burney, California. Don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel for my latest videos, including a great closeup one of a buck with whom I crossed paths two days ago! Time to wrap up, get back to my motel room and put my feet up. Love to all from sunny California!

2 Responses to “Etna -> Dunsmuir -> Burney

  • Glad things are going well. Was great talking. Rewarding conversations even though they are fewer while you’re on the trail. Stay safe. I love you.

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