Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day 12 - Warner Valley Campground

OMG. It was so cold last night. What happens out here in the woods is that by late night/early morning the cold air sinks into low spots and serves to chill everything there. It's called catabatic air. Last night my hammock was particularly vulnerable to the air flow. I was trying to manage by wearing almost everything I had with me, but I was still cold by 5am when my alarm went off. Burr, burr, burr. 

I managed to get to hiking by 6:20 but I was still super cold. Finally, over the miles, I was able to overcome the chill and focus on getting milage in. I was pretty successful and over the day and afternoon I managed to make my necessary milage. 

Yesterday, and a big part of today, was traveling through a huge area of burned trees. Many miles worth in fact. This is what it looked like. 
In some places the ground was full of wild flowers but with no regeneration of trees as yet. Other places you can see small pine trees making their way into the world. Still, it'll be a long time before the forest recovers. 

The trail builders have made some interesting structures to deal with boggy areas. Which is better for us hikers and protects the delicate areas that we travel through. There was one creek crossing that required getting wet to my mid calves. That water was chilly! But it was soon crossed, though with wet and cooled feet. 

The big goal for today was getting to Drakesbad Guest Ranch for showers and dinner. These folks here are really kind to hikers and give free showers and allowed us to wash our clothes as well. After the regular (paying) guests have eaten a meal then PCT hikers can have the same meal for a bit less money. Tonight was salad and veggie lasagna with garlic bread and desert. A well made meal with great flavors. Yum!
The pool heated by hot springs. 

Tomorrow will be the approach to Chester. I'll get close but delay my going to town for the next morning. 

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