Friday, Aug 10th found me hiking along and around canyon walls with the sound of water most of the morning. Met Magellan at a trailhead crossing and he gave me a second cup of coffee. I am low on coffee and fuel so it was a great treat! Passed HeeHaw and Kristo with their guitars. Lots of blackberry bear scat and deer sightings today. Went swimming in deep creek by a bridge crossing before the last 10 mile dry section. Came around a bend near the end of the day and the view of Mt Shasta hit me in the face. Very Nice! No camp spots near here so had to keep hiking on for several miles to camp near mile 1501 with a view of Mt. Shasta and the company of Jeff and ED.
Today I entered the Castle Crag Wilderness. Couldn't see Shasta in the morning due to the fire smoke but still pretty on the ridge. The view of Castle Crags when I crossed route 5 and entered the Castle Crag Wilderness was so rocky and inviting that I knew I had to find a side hike into the spires. Met two section hikers that offered me coffee and ganja. I took the coffee! And used their map to find a side trail up to Castle Dome. A five and a half mile side trail to Castle Dome and Indian Springs. Very interesting rock scramble, views, and lots of day hikers. Very steep at times and slow scrambling but the views from the rocks near the Dome were well worth it. And the side scramble over to Indian Springs was fantastic too with ice cold delicious waterfalls. There was a crowd of people there so it was obviously well known.
After returning to the PCT the trail wrapped around to give views of the crags from all angles and with lots of steep switchbacks. Great views but the sun was hot! At a great rocky viewpoint I met a couple who had setup a romantic campsite and of course I was offered a glass of wine. Found a fantastic little campsite in a hollow in the bushes high on the ridge with room for just one. So many great views and an exciting side hike today to the dome!