Australian Sam stops for the night in Burney

I took Linda over to the Hearthstone Health Food store to unload some things. Linda is planning to have a mini Art Show in the Gift Shop for Burney Basin Days.

As I was finishing unloading the car a cheerful looking man with a back pack happened by.  His name is Sam. He is from Sydney, Australia. He’s hiking the PCT trail. He on his way back to the trail head to put in a days hike. I offered him a ride.

The author with Austrailan Sam at Hearthstone Healthfoods

The author with Austrailan Sam at Hearthstone Healthfoods

Sam flew from Australia to LA, where he visited a friend for a week. On April 7, he began the hike north from Mexico. He hiked through the desert and began hiking the Sierras on May 11. At places in the Sierra’s there was 12 feet of snow.

Sam’s normal pace is 25 miles a day. It was a little bit slower through the Sierras because of the snow. At one point he stopped for a five-day break. Once he got to the Cascades, his pace picked up. Yesterday he hiked 35 miles.

He has seen several bears. On his way back to the trail (I think near Mammoth Lakes in Mono County) there was a mama bear with two cubs. That made Sam a bit cautious because he knows that Mama’s can be very protective of their cubs.

Just then, however, a bicyclist came careening down the road talking on his cell phone, totally oblivious to the bear. As he approached the bears, Mama looked up at the approaching rider and scuttled her cubs off into the woods, clearing the road for Sam.

Sam expects to make it to the Canadian border by mid-August. Then he’s headed to India. He plans to attend a mountaineering school from September 15 – October 16 and then hike for awhile in the mountains of Nepal.

Now doesn’t that sound like an exciting life?

Sam has hiked a lot in the back country of Australia. He said that on those trails you see very few people. On the PCT he sees people almost every day. He’s ahead of the pack. A lot of hikers farther south paused to wait for the snow to melt. Many of the hostels are full and there are several places where the trail is jammed up with people.

So I guess we’ll have a lot more hikers coming through Burney.

Sam said he likes Burney. A young couple gave him a ride into the town and gave him a place to stay for the night.

I drove Sam out to the trailhead on 299.

I’m glad he liked Burney.
I wished him a great journey.

Hey! That rhymes.



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Filed under Ajumawi State Park, Burney, Pacific Crest Trail

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