Day 84 - Burney Falls - June 28

I knew I had to wait for the mail around 9, so I slept in.  I had a quinoa breakfast and caught up on my blog.  People were slowly rolling in all day, but I didn't know them.  I met a guy named Breeze from South Carolina, he had hiked this far, through the Sierra.  He'd also hiked the Appalachian Trail in the winter, so he's a beast.  At nine, my packages still hadn't arrived.  Someone called out a town run.  They were also going to check the post office for packages, so I decided to wait until they got back.  I decided even if I didn't get my chest strap, I would make one, so I grabbed a duffle bag out of the hiker box.  Cutting off one strap and using parts of another, I rigged up a chest strap for my pack.  It was wider and heavier than the one for my pack, but more secure.

They came back.  My package had been at the post office, even though it was addressed to Burney Guest Ranch.  The Burney post office does this all the time, holding on to packages and not delivering them.  I've spent all morning waiting when I could have been hiking.  It's lunchtime now, and I prefer not to hit the trail hungry, so I signed up for a quinoa burger.  It was good, but not filling.

After the burger, I hit the trail.  A few miles down, there was trail magic!  Moonwalker and Outlaw were sitting there.  It was several containers of food, big containers like you get at Sam's or Costco, full of sugary and fatty junk food.  They had a picnic table there and asked that we sign the picnic table and leave a joke in the register.  There were lots of marker colors and people had written all over this thing already.  I drew a bad looking helicopter and wrote Chopper under it.  Outlaw said without the name he wouldn't know what the drawing was.  So much for my drawing skills.  I saw a bad dirty joke from Rambles in the log book.  He's not far ahead.

Outlaw, Moonwalker and I left at the same time.  They walked fast and I tried to keep up since they were fun to converse with.  I couldn't match their pace and would fall behind.  Luckily for me, there were several road crossings and other confusing intersections that would slow them down and I was able to catch up.  We all went to Burney Falls State Park, planning on spending the night there.  It was about 9 miles from the Guest Ranch.  We stopped in at the store.  I bought an expensive can of fruit.  Moonwalker picked up her package.  She's vegan also, and her mom is sending her packages from home that she put together.  We had trouble finding the PCT hiker camping area, until Moonwalker saw Maximus, her friend.  He led the way.  Our spot was near the cemetery trail.  Sounds about right.  It was like a reunion there!  Rambles was there!  He gave me a big hug.  I hadn't seen him since Scissors Crossing near Julian, a long time ago.  He introduced me to his friend Boots, a young guy with blond hair and flower pattern shorts. Tripod was also there, and Plegs.  They had taken a side trip to Crater Lake from Burney Guest Ranch and I guess they were dropped off here.  Tripod had skipped out on paying at Burney Guest Ranch, I know because I saw his sheet next to mine when I paid.  No wonder the prices were high, they had to compensate for people who don't feel the need to pay.  Pecan and Walnut were also there.

Breeze arrived while I set up my tent, calling out loudly to Maximus.  They hadn't seen each other in a thousand miles either!  I ate my dinner real quick and then a group went down to the falls; Moonwalker, Outlaw, Boots, Rambles and myself.  It was a steep slope and the trail had many switchbacks.  The last part to get to the water was very steep.  The waterfall was huge, probably the biggest I've seen.  The water came from above, but it also seeped out from the rocks all around.  It was snowmelt water that seeps into the volcanic rocks here, then it works it's way down in an underground creek.  A few miles upstream from here, it hits a place of solid rock and is forced to the surface.

It had been so hot above, but it was very cold down there.  Way too cold to take a dip.  The air was so cold down there I wished I had brought my puffy.  Outlaw left while I was mesmerized watching the falls.  I see birds flitting in and out of the waterfall.  They live in the cliff of the waterfall.

I was almost shivering when we left.  Rambles, big kid that he is, decides to skip all the switchbacks and head straight up.  We joined him for the first, easier slope, but not the last.  It looked do steep and there was a rock wall at the top.  We saw him smiling at the top, waiting for us.  Then it was back to camp and time to sleep.


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