Return to Shasta: May 8-10th, 2015

Objective: Campfires, big mountain views, brewskis, and some (mellow) touring.

Date: May 8-10th, 2015

Crew: Sara, Connor, and the Tahoe/bay area hooligans Reed, Evan, Brett, Tait, & Aaron

Location: Mount Shasta, CA

Connor’s commitment to PT has allowed for a smooth and speedy recovery thus far. So, when our buddy Reed told us he was heading to Shasta with a crew to get in a few last runs in for the season, we were all in. We figured that stretching our legs for a day on the mountain would be good for both of us, and that if Connor wasn’t up for touring, we could hike around a bit and at least get in some good campfire fun with friends.

We headed North after work on Friday and met the homies in the pull-out vista area on the way to Bunny Flat off of Everitt Memorial Hwy. It worked well enough as a place to set up a quick camp for the night, but FYI, we were informed by the ranger the next day that it is for day use only, despite the lack of “no camping” signs…

The team charges up from Bunny Flat.

We casually geared up and drove to Bunny Flat Saturday, and started up the mountain with the goal of reaching Helen Lake. We had to hike for about an hour before the snow was consistent and worth skinning, but it only took another two  hours or so to reach Helen Lake, and we were moving at a pretty mellow pace. We enjoyed the view and some snacks before getting our turns in on the way down. Fabulous spring corn all the way to the trail. Connor is BACK!

Massive rockfall just below Helen Lake. Yikes.

Connor enjoys his first post-injury turns!

The ranger suggested we move our camp to the Sand Flats area – just down the road a ways from Bunny Flat and just up the road from where we camped the night before. This turned out to be a HUGE upgrade. We found a great campsite and there were no other people around. To top it off, just a short scamper away from our campsite was a flat sandy meadow from which you had a gorgeous view of the mountain. I think it’s safe to say that we celebrated Connor’s recovery in proper mountain fashion.

The crew takes in the last of the evening light from the Sand Flats camping area.

Connor and I decided to sit out on Sunday when the rest of the crew went back up for another tour (no need to push his post-injury luck), so we got a solid breakfast at Lily’s in the town of Mount Shasta and then drove to Castle Crags (~25 min drive) to check out it out for a bit before making the push home. We’d never been to Castle Crags before, only seen it from the highway, but I wanted to get in a short run so it was pretty convenient. I ran up the PCT a few miles and Connor hiked up toward one of the domes. The main faces of Castle Crags are seriously epic, but the trails we explored weren’t too exciting. I did get rattled at by a rattlesnake for the first time though… and there were a LOT of lizards around… Lets just say that reptiles are not my favorite thing and that I’ll probably have to start some exposure therapy if I want to keep up the California trail running…

The faces of Castle Crags – rad.

All in all, it was an awesome and chill weekend and we are SO happy to have Connor back in adventure mode!

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