June 8 – Chester to Warner Valley Campground in Lassen Natl. Park (PCT miles 1329 to 1348)

When I went to bed there were only two other tents in the church yard. When I woke up, there were five more. A group had arrived after I fell asleep and silently set up tents. These late night arrivals are the first hikers I’ve met who plowed through the Sierras instead of bouncing around them.

There was dew on my tent and sleeping bag, so I hung them on the fence to dry and went off in search of breakfast. I scored big at a place named “Cravings”, a small bakery and coffee shop. If you go to Chester, you owe it to yourselves to check this place out! Coffee, pastries, breakfast- yum!

I quickly hitched a ride with a friendly local and soon I was reunited with the trail and headed to Lassen Volcanic National Park.

I spotted a healthy, vibrant snow plant. I’ve seen a lot of these on this trip, but this one was the finest looking.

I crossed the North Fork of the Feather River one last time – it was much smaller than at Belden

Just before I entered the park I spotted my first bears of this trip- a mom and cub. In the video below, momma bear has her head in a log munching on termites, I think.

Luckily, I’ll be camping at Warner Valley Campground which has bear boxes.

The trail to camp took me by some volcanic activity: this steam vent named Terminal Geyser (its not really a geyser). There was a muddy, cool stream nearby that I accidentally stepped into, and a very hot stream flowing out of the vent. Some people soak here, but I didn’t swim, instead I dunked my muddy shoe in. It was hot, hot, hot!

And Boiling Spring Lake:

The trail passed Drakesbad, a glamping spot that has cabins and a dining hall that is supposed to be pretty good. Plus it is on a beautiful meadow. I want to come back here.

When I arrived at Warner Valley Campground I found Men’s Shoes, Cloud Rider and one other PCT Hiker there. It was nice to have a picnic table and people to share it with.

Thanks for reading!

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