Day 84: Saturday, July 27

Tenting at a nice campsite (PCT mi 1516.4), walked 9.9 miles today

Slept about 10 hours solid and woke up at 9am a brand new man. Talked to Kristin on the phone, packed up my stuff just before the checkout time and then had to walk over a mile just to get to the grocery store, which was extremely vexing. It was a nicer store than I was expecting, however, and I made out with some good crap for the next 100 miles. Didn't bother to eat lunch in town because I wanted to get back hiking ... Made a PCT HIKER TO CASTELLA sign on my Tyvek and for the second time in a week that trick worked wonders, I didn't even have to walk out of downtown Dunsmuir (which is a little ways from the interstate) before local hero Aaron and his son, who introduced himself as Iggy from the backseat, gave me a ride.

Back on the trail, it was hot and stagnant, as has become the norm around here, and it was a struggle walking uphill the few miles that I did. There were occasional peeks through the trees at the nearby Castle Crags. One of my bottle caps fell into a stream and floated down somewhere to the Sacramento River, which leaves me with only 3 liters' capacity for the next section, 4 if I want to carry an open bottle in my hand as I walk. This could become annoying, as I realized when I came to a water source which, depending on who you believe, might be the last one for the next 21 miles. Redbeard was there--he had caught up to his posse after his 250-miles-in-8-days binge, then promptly developed shin splints and had to take 3 days off in Mt. Shasta to recover. Halfway, last seen at Agnew Meadow (mile 920) was also present, as was a chap named Banjo whom I'd met before. I took a long break with all them, some sobos came by and indicated there was probably water in 5-6 miles. It didn't really change my planning (I don't trust most people to give basic information, even if they've just been where I'm going), I loaded up all 3 of my liters anyway and set out. Unfortunately, thunderstorms threatened for the second day in a row and it even started to rain a little, so I didn't get far before setting up camp around seven. 3+ days to Etna from here.