Day 61 – Mount Doom (July 13, 1291-1313)

Turned out the sleep wasn’t that bad actually. When I rolled around, there was lots of crunching sounds, but aside from that it was good. We turned out of camp at 7.

The climb continued to be miserable. Here is the sequence: Level/slight climb, then super steep climb up some dry/semi-dry creek bed, then over a swollen creek. Those were agility tests. Here is couple of pics.

Keep Your Balance


Soho captured a video of my expert crossing technique.   I’ll add it when I get decent Internet. 

<Video of crossing>

Then, we hit this crossing.

Nasty Crossing

Soho and I stood there looking at it for a while. The lower path looked straightforward, but with the guarantee of somewhat wet feet. The top crossing could be totally dry, if you can make the jump over this:


Soho went low. I, of course, decided to go for all the bananas. Didn’t go well. I jumped on the angled rock next to the little waterfall. First I noticed the algae on the rock, then I noticed that my foot was on it, then I slowly slide straight into the water up to my waist. Sucked. I dropped one of my poles downstream. Soho grabbed it before it floated over the lower falls.

After falling in the water all my future water crossings became easier. I just stomped through them.

The climb went on, and on, and on. Traverse, climb, stomp through water. Passed some trail maintenance folks during their thing. About 12 of them, breaking rocks, laying cable, etc.

Soho took off ahead of me, he does better on these climbs.

Made it up to the first peak, which had a pleasant meadow. It also had an unpleasant dog leg in the trail.

This meadow will trap the stupid

I missed it, wondered around a bit, then found the trail again and kept hiking. It was going down hill. I was thinking how nice this is…then I notice stuff looked familiar…hmm.. Going the wrong way, again. Lost 40 minutes on that stupidly.

At least I get to see this twice.

Cool Waterfall

Plan was to meet. Soho at Cold Springs (1304) for our afternoon break. I’m going to be late which means no lunch break for me. I switched to hiking 1 hr, stoping for some grazing on trail mix, then continuing.

The Frog King Lives here

Left Cold Springs, Right Canada

At Cold Springs, I found Soho laying under a tree looking very comfortable. He had a nice 1 hr+ break talking to some hikers, Sing Song and Scrappy, who left earlier. I on the other hand would not be lounging. Just answered nature’s call, filled up with water, and got back on the trail. FML.

Walking the Meadow
A Decent View from the Butte

The folks in Butte seem to think this 8k peak is worth noting.

Now that’s a Butte

This is the county full of weird signs.


When we were on lookout rock before Belden we got our first view of mount Lassen. Some guy mentioned that it looked like Mount Doom looming over the horizon. We are getting closer, my Precious!


Mount Doom, Looming in the Distance
Zoomed !!!

Camped near a spring at 1313. It was a haul to get water, but since Soho volunteered it was great for me :). 22 miles today….well 22 miles of progress, I clocked closer to 24.

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