So Mr. Falknor and I decided that we needed to summit Mt. Shasta, and prior to that we needed to do some training. Our first training exercise was a 25 mile overnight hike from Big Basin State Park to the ocean and back. It was good practice, and we learned a lot of useful things. For example, knock off army boots are not good for hiking long distances. The last few miles back to the park headquarters were particularly painful for my feet, and I still have blisters that are preventing me from climbing very well. I also found out that my $35 Sportsmans Guide sleeping bag isn’t comfort rated for freezing temperatures. I expected it to be somewhat warm, but when we woke up in the morning there was frost on the ground. We also had some trouble sleeping, because when you are camping outside without a tent the full moon is really bright!
We arrived on Saturday and started our hike at around 10:30. We started on the Skyline to the Sea trail, and then veered off to Mt. McAbee overlook and the McCrary Ridge Trail. Later we joined back up with the Skyline to the Sea trail, and followed it all the way to Waddell Beach, where we passed out on the sand and rested our feet. Our campground was about a mile and half inland, and we walked back on the road. We got to camp right before dark, so we had just enough time to cook some cans of Dinty Moore beef stew and some hot chocolate before the sun went down. We were the only crazy people camping so it was pretty quiet.
I didn’t get much sleep during the night because my feet were freezing and the moon was way too bright. In the morning it was really cold, and I didn’t bring any gloves so my hands were freezing. We cooked up some oatmeal, tea, and coffee, and then hit the trail around 8:30. We weren’t feeling too ambitious at that point, so we took the Sklyline to the Sea Trail all the way back to park headquarters, with only a few short stops and one medium length snack break at the Berry Creek Falls. We got back to headquarters at around noon so we made pretty good time despite our painful feet.
This hike was a great warm up, and we are already planning our next training exercise. I’m thinking either a 40 mile hike starting at Castle Rock State Park, or the full 60 miles from Castle Rock to the ocean and back. Stay tuned and I’ll update you with the details when we figure it out!