Friday, July 24, 2015

Bunny Flats & OC&E Rail-Trail

This morning we pulled out of the KOA and parked the RVs in downtown Mt. Shasta so Dad and I could hike from Bunny Flat to Horse Camp. The town of Mt. Shasta is interesting! Very hippy, crunchy, and earth-y! We went to an organic grocery store yesterday and everyone in the store had on tie dye! There are also a lot of PCT thru-hikers. I think it would be a fun town to spend more time in at some point.
Dad and I drove back to where we'd been yesterday, most of the way up the scenic drive up mountain and started hiking! The trail is the same trail that the climbers use to get to the summit! There aren't many people climbing now because the snow is melted and it's best to climb over ice and snow, the scree and rocks aren't safe. The first mile of the hike was mostly level, the second mile was where we gained elevation!
As we were driving up the mountain we got behind the fire truck - same one that had been there yesterday, the driver let us pass but the fire crew got to Bunny Flat the same time we did! We knew they were heading to the tree that was burning! They had to gear up, but they quickly caught up to us on the trail. We got to hike with them for a little while and they were really fun to talk with! All young men, but they seemed to enjoy hearing of our adventures! Soon however the hill got steeper and Dad and I slowed down, no match for 20-something fire fighters who are acclimated to the 7,000 ft elevation!
We did run into the fire crew at Horse Camp before they headed off to finish putting out the tree! Horse Camp has a caretakers cabin and is sort of a base camp for folks planning to summit Mt. Shasta. It's almost 2 miles from the road, and very easy to get to. Inside the caretakers cabin there is a lot if interesting reading material about the mountain and the routes to the top. We weren't going to attempt to summit so we turned around and went back to the car.

Back in town we grabbed lunch at a Mexican place, then headed to Klamath Falls, OR. Before I left I wanted to get fuel, it was only $2.99 and in California I could pump it myself! I pulled into a Chevron station and there was a big bump which caused me to scrape the low points on both the driver side and passenger side! I examined everything while I was pumping and didn't see any damage, however, as I was getting on I-5 I heard something dragging under the van! I was already on the highway though and couldn't pull over! I got off at the next exit and found a place to park to check it out. The sewer cap had come off, but was still attached! I quickly got it back on and was headed for Klamath Falls!
We are staying at Wal-Mart and it just so happens that there is a rail trail only a few blocks away! Soon after we got here Dad and I loaded up the bikes to check it out. It didn't look too promising, the trailhead was in an industrial zone and the only folks around looked a little creepy. We forged ahead, figuring we could turn around if it wasn't fun. The trail was paved, wide and smooth! We were flying along and soon we were out of the residential section and it was open farmland! Farms surrounded by mountains! It looked a little like Kansas met up with Wyoming, very flat and very dry mountains, but it was nice! It was exposed, no shade, but the air wasn't too hot! It ended up being a nice ride! We went about 6 miles to where the trail turns to dirt. The trip back wasn't as nice...on the way out we'd had a tailwind pushing us a long, now we were riding into the wind and it was harder!

When we got back to Wal-Mart Mom had dinner almost ready and we both got showers since it was warm then. It going down to 45 tonight so it will be very cold in the morning! After dinner Mom and I went to Wal-Mart to get a few things we needed. There are some kids hanging out in the parking lot and a very large Prevost bus on one side and a Hippie painted school bus on the other! Interesting night in Klamath Falls, OR.

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