Tues., July 22 - Chester to Drakesbad
was hot, fairly exposed, had little water, and was super dirty (dry,
loose dirt that floats up everytime you take a step). But could it
still be the best section ever? It's possible.
We said goodbye to Babs and Harry and started hiking around 10:30 am.
We had heard about Drakesbad, a resort in Lassen National Park, and
wanted to make it the 18 miles in order to get there for dinner. Well,
we had heard good things, but we had no idea. This place is wonderful.
We hauled all day, took a short lunch and arrived at 5:55. Perfect
timing, since dinner started at 6:00 (they have seating times for
breakfast, lunch and dinner). But as soon as we arrived, the owners
asked us if we had laundry to do or if we would like to take a shower
- FOR FREE! We had just done laundry and it had only been one day
since a shower. Even after 18 miles, we weren't feeling we really
needed a shower (you can tell how dirty we are when we get into town
and actually do need a shower). But we soon asked ourselves, why would
you turn down a free shower?!?
We had a great dinner of salad, bread, shrimp, eggplant parmesan (we
shared the entrées), polenta, and the most wonderful fresh berry
pastry with whipped cream. The best part - hikers eat for half off, so
all this was only $10.
After dinner we went to take showers and then soaked our feet in the
hot spring swimming pool. Oh, I didn't mention the hot spring pool?
Yeah, it was awesome. Here you can see Steve relaxing by the pool.
Maybe you can see the steam coming off of it if you look close enough.
It was a heavenly evening to say the least. If only every day of
hiking could end like this!