Day 80 - Old Station - June 24

I was so tired when I woke up this morning.  Mainly because of the bear last night, but also because once the sun comes up, I wake up.  So, if I'm too tired still, I go back to sleep and wake up about once every half hour until I just get sick of it.  I got up before Black Swan, though.  It was already hot, even at 9 in the morning.  Not a good sign for the rest of the day.  I stopped for breakfast at this lovely spot on Hat Creek, where I got water.  A man and his grandson came up with fishing poles and talked to me.  They had parked their RV nearby.  I had planned on meeting Black Swan at the water, but it turns out he stopped at a different spot on Hat Creek.

We continued to Old Station, but Black Swan got ahead of me.  He just walks faster.  Old Station had a post office, an RV campground and a small store with a restaurant in the back.  There was an awning out front with two old gas pumps on display.  I checked the post office to see if they were sending out mail today, maybe I could send my crampons and some other stuff ahead.  They were only doing pickup.  I left my sit pad in their hiker box and grabbed a pair of thin Smart wool socks that looked new.

I got a veggie sandwich from the restaurant and joined Black Swan at the awning for some sitting.  We stayed there for maybe three hours, occasionally buying a snack or drink at the store. It was so hot, we were sweating just sitting there.  We talked to a lot of people that were visitors and a guy that works at the RV campground.  There was a grandma there with three of her children and seven grandkids.  One of her sons gave Black Swan some weed.

Black Swan and I had a discussion about hitchhiking ahead.  He wanted to skip this next thirty miles and go straight to Burney Guest Ranch.  I'm not about to start skipping trail.  He talked about not being a slave to the trail.  I asked him why this section was worse than any other.  He mentioned the volcanic rocks we would walk over.  I argued that people complained about the Tehachapi to Walker Pass section and skipped it, but that section was beautiful and I saw a kangaroo rat there.  You miss out by skipping, and you don't even know what you might be missing.  I guess I convinced him, because when it had cooled off some, we left together.

We took a side trip to see the Subway Tunnel cave, formed by a lava flow.  I thought it was pretty neat.  About 1/3 mile long, the trail does a loop.  I also got water at the parking lot there.

We camped about 1 mile past the cave.  Black Swan had talked about night hiking, but I know it just makes me tired.


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