I set my alarm for 3am, snoozed for a bit and finally started hiking by 4. I set out by myself in the dark with my headlamp and the air was nice and cool. Ahhh, the joys of not being hot while hiking. We only get this like two hours of each day. I could see some car lights way below the rim. Sunrise was probably one of the best ones I've seen in a long time. The colors illuminated mt lassen from behind me and Shasta to my left. I just started listening to music in which I don't have very many options saved on my phone but it's been nice. It makes me have a quick pace and sometimes I sing out loud.
I reached FR 22 and see a man standing there. His named was coppertone and he told me there was a water cache over by the trail named cache 22. I walked over and see tons of gallon jags, dirty plastic chairs, broken camping chairs and a cooler. The cooler had a bunch of snacks in there. I sat on the dirt stained chair and figured out how much water I needed. I decided to just take a liter since it was only 13 more miles to the next water.
Coppertone told me to meet him down by the road bc he had some food so I went over and he had a tent set up with NICE chairs, and tables. He offered me fruit, chocolate muffins, cookies, water, and soda. It was only 8am so I just ate fruit and cookies. Breakfast of champions. He had thru hiked ten years ago and now he is doing trail magic on different sections throughout the trail and had seen many repeated hikers. He converted his truck into a camper and has been living in it since he retired. He also brings his dirt bike with him. Coppertone had the cutest smile and was SO sweet. He told me he used to be a missionary down in Peru before he did his hike. I talked with him for awhile before I needed to head out. I couldn't loiter too much since I needed to make it to burney.
I headed out in the morning heat. About halfway to the next water, I thought to myself, "I think I have too much water, it's all downhill and flat from here." So I dumped a liter. Big mistake that I would pay for later. It started getting REALLY hot and all exposed. At every small patch of shade I would take a small breather. The sun was literally radiating from the sand beneath me. I touched the soles of my shoes and they burned! I finally found a flat shaded spot and took a lunch. Frost came by after I was heading out. This part of the trail has a lot of volcano rocks and it hurt my feet really bad. I also tripped a million times.
After lunch was probably the most brutal. The exposed part of the trail was probably well over 100 degrees. Even though it was all flat, it was so hard to walk. I've never felt so hot and thirsty in my life. I had to ration my last liter and only took sips of hot water. I felt like I was going to pass out. Each mile seemed like three. It was tough. I finally reached the first stream and immediately filtered water and chugged a liter right away. I felt better. I rinsed my feet/legs off a bit and it was around 4pm. I still had another 4.4 miles to the burney hitch so I had to get moving. I've heard it's a hard hitch so I wanted to make it before it got too late. I felt better now that I had more water and didn't have to ration it.
The last few miles were still hot but not as bad. I kept passing by so many janky advertisement signs for burney mountain guest ranch. I guess they really want business from hikers but we don't want to pay $125 for just a bunk! I finally reached the highway, walked to the other side of the road and immediately stuck out my thumb. The cars were FLYING by. They were so close to hit me so I got nervous and walked down a few hundred feet to a better pull out. My feet were hurting so as I was in the middle of changing to my crocs, a car pulls over and almost runs over my shoes. I looked at him to make a quick "is he gonna kidnap me" judgement and he seemed fine, kind of. He asked if I was going to burney and I said yes. He started driving right before I even closed the door and sped down the highway into burney. The man had tattoos and long hair. He said he was on his way to an event. He's a ceremonial dancer.
I made it safely to town and was relieved. I think I'm getting better at solo hitching? He dropped me off at the charm motel but they had no single rooms. Just a huge room with a living room and I didn't want to pay for that. I sat in their nice ac office and called a few motels. I walked over to Shasta pines motel and ended up getting a nice room there for a good price and the lady at the desk was fun to talk to. I saw undercover and a game across the street from the window and ran out to say hi. Chris' feet weren't doing so well. I got to my room and it was so nice and clean looking. Probably one of the nicer motels I've stayed at since being out.
I FaceTimed nancy for a little bit before my shower. So I usually check for ticks in my crotch, pits, etc but I was showering and felt like what was an embedded tick in a place where I won't go into detail. I freaked out and attempted to examine what it was. It was basically a bubble the size of a pea and looked like it was filled with blood. I immediately start google imaging embedded ticks and other options. It was so hard to see what it was with a tiny mirror. I talked to nancy and Alissa and we all think a tick wouldn't be able to crawl in there. If it wanted to embed, it would've just embedded in my crotch. I think just with all the friction and heat caused the blister. I called the nurse hotline thing and she was no help. I walked over to the Safeway to get resupply and got back around nine and facetimed Jenny. I wanted to finish most things tonight since I have to check out at ten tomorrow. I was tired but finally got to bed yay.