Once again I'm leaving the Castle Crags trailhead, this time headed north after being dropped off in the morning by Pam. She has been an amazing resource for me in so many ways during these past several weeks, and I am very grateful to her for giving us a "base camp" here in northern California. I had to rearrange my plans and do more "hopscotching" north and south on different trail sections than I had originally thought I would do, waiting for snow to clear, and she has helped get me to different trailheads when my truck was one place and I was somewhere else!
It was a hot, long climb up out of the trailhead, and we were glad when we reached the top and looked back at Castle Crags below us. We could also see Mt. Shasta in the background, with lots of snow still clinging to its slopes.
The whole day was filled with tough and rocky footing that was hard on the horses' feet. But at the end, I spotted a nice meadow near a lake a little ways off of the trail, so we stopped earlier than I had planned because it seemed like a good reward for all of us after a strenuous climb.