August 1, 2014
20 hiking miles
We got up early and it was cold. Like Sierra cold. I found it hard to get out of my toasty sleeping bag. Our plan was a HUGE day. We were on trail around 7. The terrain was smooth and mostly downhill.
We rocked our first 15 miles by lunch. But as we sat down next to the river to eat we discussed the smoke we saw from the trail. It looked like there were two small fires burning nearby.
(Old fire damage and new fire in the distance.)
After lunch we planned to rock 4 more miles to reach Old Station. There we planned to take a siesta to let the temperature drop. Then we were going to night hike as long as we could, to get through the Hat Creek Rim area. (30 mile waterless stretch with very little shade.) As we arrived in Old Station we noticed that the smoke was getting more intense. We decided to check out the PCTA website to figure out if the fire was affecting the trail. We had gotten mixed information from the locals. The website informed us that while the trail was not officially closed yet the fire was moving fast and it was recommend to not hike there.
(Those are Smoke Clouds)
Not wanting to mess with a fast moving fire we decided to hitch around to Burney. I am glad we did, as we were waiting for a ride the smoke clouds intensified. By the time we hitched from Burney to the state park later on, the road we got a ride in on was closed. Fire is not something to mess with, especially in a dry area filled with fuel ready to burn.
So while we missed a good 50 miles of trail today, we still had a big day. I am glad we made the decision to skip the danger zone. I am happy to be out of the way, safe and in a nice state park.
Tomorrow back to the trail.