As I continued my trek through Lassen National Forest, my daily mileage grew and grew, eventually beating the mileage I was doing in the desert. I went from low twenties to mid thirties and started making real progress. Even though the recent days have been long, they have managed to stay eventful. Firstly, A few days past Drakesbad Guest ranch we reached Burney Falls. This is a huge, 128 foot waterfall that throws water off its cliff edge into the crystal clear pool of below. Because of its beauty and power, it’s reputation has grown and I was amazed to see so many people. I’m sure being a few days before the 4th of July didn’t help either.
We only stopped at the falls for a few minutes and were soon back on the trail. The holiday weekend seemed to have brought out quite a few people and the next evening we watched from a short distance as almost thirty paragliders jumped from a cliff and sailed into the sky. They flew around each other for hours and gave us a show while we walked.
Another cool thing about this past section has been the wildlife. The deer have been plentiful and surprisingly bold. As I walked down the trail one walked toward me. Eventually standing not more than three feet away. That night, my buddy awoke to one standing over him while he cowboy camped. In addition to the deer are the bears. Lassen is known for their bears and some hikers saw four within a single hour. I was only able to see one during my hike through this section, but that was enough for me.
The most exciting thing about it all, is the fact that I am less than 200 miles from the oregon border. Within a week of hiking I will be saying goodbye to Cali (for now).
Noel Nelson (pct mile 1494)