I found a room to rent for the next month.? Its spartan, but cheerful.

Some unique features include outdoor plumbing…

…. and views that change every day.

This weekend its location was the Deadfall Lakes Basin, just under the face of the serpentined Mt. Eddy (9,025) in the Klamath Mountains. Janell graced me with her presence, her botanical enthusiasm, and her ear as I worked through my gear and plans one last field time before my JMT trip departure July 10th. I’ve been backpacking solo so many times the last few years, it was a pleasure to have another human to share the experience with.

Moving in will be like moves always are: from chaos…..

..to order.??

This hike is a wonderful one to do. It follows the PCT for three miles if you leave from Parks Creek Trailhead (you can also pull up from the meadows below, beautiful and shorter but steeper).The hike in is on contour through forested and open slopes, with views over the headwaters drainages of the Trinity River and into the white granite heart of the Trinity Alps. At three miles in it intersects Lower and Deadfall Lake.

You can curve back up around the basin another mile or so to get to Upper Deadfall Lakes.

Mt. Eddy’s peak is less than mile further up an established trail and offers commanding views down into Deadfall Lakes Basin, over to Lassen, way out to the Central Valley, into the heart of the Trinity Alps and, of course (and only as you summit) big momma Shasta looming overhead to the east.

Thanks to Janell for her iPhone Lightbox shot which captured how I felt when I crested the summit trail and felt Shasta!

And the extra sparkle on the trip were the amazing athletes we ran into along the way. Half an hour in we saw a smiling, lean, tall, tanned, blond gent in a smart chapeau with a light daypack.? Thinking he’d hiked the peak, I asked where he was headed. “Canada”, he said. Turns out he was at that moment the maybe #2-in-front South-to-North PCT hiker of the season, looking to set a speed record this year. Stats: 43 miles per day average, base pack weight 8 lbs, 2.5 lbs of food per day, 4 days between resupplies, pack never heavier than 30 lbs. Tuna Helper is his trail name if you wanna see how he does against the current record, amazingly set last year which was a big snow year! We were honored to get 10 of his minutes to hear his story.

We also had a nice lunch snack with Charlie (Wisconsin) the next day at Deadfall Lake who was averaging 32 MPD on his third PCT trip (he gets itchy around April and figures, “hey, I have a week, I can pull this together!” and off he goes). He showed us his entire wardrobe: button down short sleeve shirt, thin wind jacket, thin down sweater, shorts, and wind pants. It was enough for him to survive a 16 degree hailstorm night in Tuolomne Meadows (helped by a bit of wine and a can of chili).? So fun to meet a few of these guys in person after reading Wild and hours and hours of ultralight backpacking blogs.

Full Deadfall Lakes trip pics here.

The room rental ad promised some amazing views for the next month, a bit further to the south. There will be a few stairs to climb though (46,000 feet of elevation gain in that 31 days).

John Muir Trail – here I come!

You get there by realizing you are already there.? ~ Echart Tolle