Day 78: Sunday, July 21

Tenting next to the Subway Cave parking lot (PCT mi 1381.6), walked 4.5 miles today

Woke up around 9 and spent my last two hours of allowed motel room usage completing the shakedown of my pack, getting another shower in, and watching Phil Mickelson win the British Open. Got breakfast/lunch (brunch doesn't seem like the right word for a town like Susanville) on our way out of town, at a diner where my new moustache was out-sleazied by many of the other male patrons', and probably some of the females' too. Drove the hour over to Old Station, where I was dropped off at 1:15pm. Said bye to Kristin, then sat inside the mini-mart for almost 4 hours with the few other hikers who were around: Sharkey and Bebo, an older couple I'd met once before, and Moonshadow, whom I hadn't. Around 4 a fast dude named Shorts made it in, having started the day at Drakesbad, and having started the trail at the Mexican border on May 26. He's trying to get the whole thing done over Colby College's summer break, May 25-September 10. Nice guy, he's an English major at a small expensive liberal arts college who likes to hike long distances, so we've got that much in common at least.

It was revoltingly hot outside, in the triple digits for sure, all afternoon, and I didn't end up hiking out til 6. I had every intention of night-hiking a good 15 miles of Hat Creek Rim, the 28-mile upcoming hot dry exposed stretch, under the full moon tonight. Then I got to this place, the Subway Cave, the last chance saloon for water before the Rim, and remembered how much I'm sick of night-hiking alone and how I keep telling myself every time I do it that it's my last time because it's boring and I never make any progress, not to mention it's a little unnerving at times. Shorts showed up a few minutes after me and said he was camping here and getting up at 4am for the Rim; this sounded appealing to me so it's the new agenda. The town of Burney, at 34 miles, is in theory in range for tomorrow if we start at 4, but we'd have to walk through the heat of the afternoon to make that kind of mileage, and it's supposed to be just as warm tomorrow, so it seems unlikely.