Mile: 1370.0 to 1394.2 (24.2)
up/down: 1500/2000 feet
As we start to measure our progress in volcanoes, we solidly put Lassen in the rear view this morning. By 10:00 we had our first view of Shasta. That monster stands out so much above the surrounding area that it creates its own weather. It will take us 5 more days to get close. And many more days to get around.
We left camp early for a tough waterless day on the Hat Creek Rim. We were able to fill our bottles at the Subway Cave before climbing the ridge. Then it was 16 miles to a possible cache or another two miles to a cow pond. We hoped all day for the cache.
Subway Cave, a lava tube near Old Station
The Rim is a vertical escarpment the sits on the east side of Hat Creek Valley created by faulting. It is composed entirely of lava rock. The area has burned so many times that it is hard to find vegetation more that a few years old. It is exposed and HOT. We caught a break with the remnants of cool weekend weather and only saw afternoon highs in he low 80s. Many hikers during PCT season will cross the rim in 90s or even over 100. The forecast for tomorrow is low 90s so we dodged that bullet.
The entire 20 plus miles is on the west edge and has great views to the north and south. Susan picked up lots of new Shasta county birds like Ash-throated Flycatcher, Pinyon Jay, Western Meadowlark, and Bushtit. With a couple miles to go to the cache we finally reached some mature forest that hadn't burned for a long time. Jeffery pine, juniper, and mountain mahogany were the dominant trees, it felt like home!
Douglas Sagebrush Mariposa Lily
The cache was full and much appreciated. We had dinner there then pressed on another three miles to a dry camp. We're now 22 miles from Burney Falls, our goal for tomorrow afternoon. We still have 10 more dry miles in the morning before a water source.
The cache is along forest road 22 and is aptly named "Cache 22"
Volcanic soil dust is the worst!