I woke up very early. It was silent. I lay in bed enjoying the quiet. Then the high-pitched whine started up. The mosquitoes were out.
My campsite had been perfectly level and I had slept well. I packed up, ate breakfast in the tent to avoid the bugs, then set off quite a bit before 6. I crossed two tiny creeks, one with pitcher plants growing next to it. I climbed gently on an arcing traverse of the ridge I had been climbing since yesterday. I could see where I had been and the crags and finally, Mt. Shasta.
At the Trinity Divide, I stopped for a snack, then began a short and gentle descent. I passed many small lakes far below. I walked through an interesting rocky area wtih good views of Shasta. Sometimes I could see Lassen, too. I also saw Gumboot Lake and passed a trailhead with that name.
I met a section hiker with a bad ankle. He took a picture of me with my camera and I took one of him with his.
I went by a spring. The book said there would be 3 springs. I grabbed a liter just in case it was the only one still flowing and headed off to the others. It turned out the spring had been the only one.
I stopped for lunch above Toad Lake. I could see people down on the shore. The trail went gently up to a crest where there were two horses, two dogs and two people. I stopped to talk and grab a handful of snow for my hat to keep cool. I descended and passed a family of day hikers. I reached Deadfall Lake where lots of people were camped. Some were swimming in Lower Deadfall Lake. It was really pretty and I dunked myself in the water. I laid down in the sun to dry for an hour. I had already gone 22 miles and it was only 3:30 in the afternoon. French people were camped at the lake. I hoped I did not bother them.
Earlier in the morning, I could see a whisp of smoke on the horizon. I watched it grow into a big pyrocumulus cloud. I hoped I could get out of this section and out of California before fire season. I hoped it would not become like last year.
Once I and my socks were dry enough, I headed down the trail once again. There were many day hikers on the trail. I met a couple who asked me about my adventure. At the trailhead they offered me a ride, but I had nowhere to go. I crossed the road at the trailhead and continued. There was a lake a reasonable distance ahead, but the book said sometimes car campers stayed there and if there was ever a day for car campers, today would be it.
The trail went around a bowl and soon was actually going south. I was in a level and dry meadow so I chose to camp. I was glad I had gone only 28 miles today.