Leaving Mt. Lassen
Today I got back on the trail after a two-day break while I visited with a friend and his family in Palo Cedro. Of course, it wasn't entirely a "break" as I spent much of both days preparing for the next section. Takoda had rolled on the pack saddle and ended up breaking one of the bars on the top of the saddle, which I had replaced earlier, but during this leg I noticed that he must have also bent the other bar, as the saddle wasn't riding correctly on his back. Unfortunately, I didn't see this until we were already out on the trail, with no way to do anything about it, so I had no choice but to continue on. However, now I was able to replace the bent bar as well, though not until Takoda's back had taken a bit of a beating, and I can tell that he's going to need some time off from both packing and riding to recover. The first day of the break was spent buying supplies and running errands and repairing the pack saddle, and the second day Ansel and I drove around leaving food caches in different places so that I could camp and feed the horses without having to pack the food (since I don't have a pack horse for the time being). I'll complete this next section from Old Station to Castle Crags by riding Shyla and ponying Takoda behind me. As we climbed the ridge overlooking Hat Creek Valley, I could look behind me and see the snow-covered heights of Mt. Lassen behind me, while up ahead I caught a distant glimpse of Mt. Shasta, as we headed that way.