13 Jun Day 51 – Wild Boar
At mile 1350.3. Hiked 22.8 miles today.
My original plan was to hike to boundary spring and camp outside Lassen National Park. This was to make it easy to hike through Lassen without camping which would have required carrying a bear canister. I then realized that I could camp in the Lassen National Park campground and use the campground’s bear lockers. A bonus was that I could have dinner at nearby Drakesbad ranch.
At Drakesbad, not only did I have dinner, but I had a hot shower, clothes washing in the sink, and a swim in the hot springs fed swimming pool. This is a place that charges $200 per person per night. A couple would spend $400 for one night. I paid only $15 for a gourmet dinner of spinach salad, wild boar, rice, and steamed vegetables, and a dessert. Non-alcoholic beverage included. As a PCT hiker and not a paying customer, I had to eat outside by myself, not in the dining room with the others. Even with the isolation, I was able to make friends with a couple of guests, Pete and Jack. They live east of San Francisco, but are from New York. We met on the trail just up the hill from Drakesbad. They had just seen a bear that I had missed.
It is hard to describe how good these comforts that Drakesbad Guest Ranch offers PCT hikers makes me feel. It recharges me physically and lifts my spirits. Oh yes, I bought an ice cream sandwich and Cliff Bar from their store. Saved the Cliff Bar for my mid morning energy boost.
The hike itself was mostly through wooded areas,but the trail was easy. I started late and still made Drakesbad at 5:30 pm. I didn’t make the 0.6 mile round trip to Terminal Geyser, but I smelled it and that was enough. It isn’t real geyser, it is a steam vent.
Here is Mount Lassen in distance. Today I entered Lassen National Park.
Here Ia the trail. Much of the day was spent hiking through forests with few views. There were some hot climbs also.
There is the North Fork of Feather River a mile or two ahead in valley below. Same river that flows through Belden.
Here is some Geothermal stuff in Lassen NP. It stinks and it is hot to stand nearby. Hot enough as it was without standing next to geothermal features. I had been kept moving by the mosquitoes. Can’t take a break the mosquitoes make me keep moving.
At Drakesbad I walked across this boardwalk.
I swam and soaked tired muscles in this hot springs fed pool at Drakesbad. Earlier in the day the pool was at 130 degrees so in order to prevent cooking the guests the caretaker had to pump in cold creek water.