Day 80: Tuesday, July 23

Tenting by Rock Creek (PCT mi 1429.0), walked 13.7 miles today

Slept in til 9 and, even though we had a standing offer from Paul to cook anything in his house for breakfast, we felt like that was too much so we slid to the McDonald's a half-mile away. No hikers there when we arrived, but by 11 or so it was clearly hiker central in Burney--Hummingbird, Robin Hood, Gone Slow and others trickled in over the course of the morning. Went up to order three separate times myself. Resupplied for the 90 miles to I-5 at the Rite Aid next door, then went to thumb a ride out of town around noon. Cars were passing us like it was their job, but then I broke out my rarely-used "PCT HIKER TO TRAIL" Tyvek sign and the second car after that stopped. It was local hero Bill, and he was able to take us up to the trailhead.

Once on, we were promptly waylaid by another exceptionally well-conceived water/soda cache, which had a register in it that encouraged one to write a good joke along with one's name. This distracted me for way too long as I thought of which jokes to put down. I settled on "Did you hear the one about hermaphrodite Barbie? She comes in her own box!"; "Two pretzels were walking down an alleyway--one was a salted"; one about women and coffee; and then a long one about a bear who walks into a bar. Fast-forward an hour and I finally left the cache and actually got some hiking done. 7 miles to Burney Falls State Park, where I hung out on the shady porch of the store for a bit with Robin Hood and a few others (those are his new/old shoes in the picture). Then 6 miles past that to this place, Rock Creek, which was alleged to have "the best swimming on the PCT" in the Yogi book, although I have to disagree and point to the Middle Fork of the Feather and the Sierra City swimming hole both as superior to this one. There was also supposed to be camping here, and that's kind of true, but it's a tight squeeze and there were eight people here when I showed up at 8. Fortunately five of them moved on, which left enough room for me, Robin Hood and Shorts to set up somewhat comfortably. My tent spot has an abandoned Coleman folding chair next to it, but the bugs dissuaded me from relaxing in it for long.