Burney Falls to Ashland

I have heard of Burney Falls for years but have never been here before. What a beautiful sight! If you are wondering where the water in Northern California is, you need to search no further. I’m not sure how many gallons per minute flow over this enormous falls but it’s enough to make you wonder if this drought is a just a hoax! There’s a lot of water in that there fall.

  Leaving Burney Falls was bittersweet. I was hiking alone but in great spirits and ready to tackle the trail ahead. This section is one of the most anticipated sections. I am entering a forest like none I have seen. The trees are numerous in variety with pines, oaks, cedars, firs and redwoods. The ferns are as tall as I am, while the dogwoods are thick and lush, blocking the trail. Sprinkled abound is yes, poison oak, the nemesis to many a thru-hiker. I am quite sensitive to this plant but praise the Lord, I have escaped the wrath of oozing blisters. I dawned my rain pants to protect my legs and already had my arms covered. Rain pants were much more like a sweat suit as it was brutally hot. But not a single poison oak bump on my sensitive skin!

 The farther north I head, the closer I get to Mount Shasta which is twofold. I am making my way out of California, the longest state to hike through and I am reaching the most magical and mystical mountain. There is something incredibly romantic about this mountain. It is said that if the snow melts off Shasta, it will erupt. I’m not sure if that’s a fork lord but I’m thinking it looks better with snow on it.  Once I made it to Dunsmuir I went off trail for the evening. A very dear friend Muriel picked me up along with three other very dirty and smelly trail friends, drove us to get our resupply boxes then to Dunsmuir.  I did the usual, took the longest shower possible without the water police knocking at the door, did my laundry and went out for grub. Muriel found a great pub and we caught up on trail life and all the things I’ve missed in the passed three months.

 I have a few hiking partners on the trail which passes the miles much more quickly. We have had such fun on the trail, laughing with one another, praying over injuries that occur daily but most of all, having others to share your everyday trials and tribulations, and the ever present pain and sorrow that is part of life on the trail. God designed us to be in community with one another. It is so much to do with who continues and who goes home! Without a connection with others, you truly can lose yourself while trekking. During lunch, I continue to read my Daily Bread, a devotional that sparks conversation and gives us something to ponder during the hours of hiking. 
 During the last week, it seems like the main theme on the trail is “where’s the smoke coming from?” There have been many smoke filled days that have plagued my lungs and I have found many uses for my bandana. The best is wetting it in a stream and tying it around my face. It helps some but the best course of action is finding a place to get off trail for a zero day! At this rate, I’m not sure how much forward progress I am making but the good news is that I am not alone. Many others have joined me on regrouping and finding ways to escape the heat and smoke. I found a nice river to soak in until the thunder and rain started. Hmm, probably not the safest place to be but it definitely got my core tempature down a few degrees. While at a watering hole, I met a young hiker and we shared our faith. It’s interesting the places we congregate. It almost always is near food or water. Some things never change. 
 So nearly four months later, and close to 100 hiking days on the trail, I finally exited this beautiful state of California and entered Oregon. Oh happy day, when I skipped across the California-Oregon stateline. For me, it was an amazing milestone, over 1700 miles and less than 1000 miles to Canada. When I reflect on my time on the trail, it seems like only yesterday when I started but how I have seen Gods grace and unwavering love. I believe that my biggest lesson is knowing that God knows my heart, that he knows who I am and that he sees me for who I truly am. I cannot be anyone else than who he created me to be. He has no preconceived ideas of what or who I am because he knows me so personally. When others view me, they can see who I am on the outside but God knows who I am on the inside. And that is so comforting. I so enjoy the time on the trail because we truly are who we are! We cannot be anything else than real, there’s nothing to prove! We accept each other for our strengths and weaknesses, we embrace our gifts and flaws, we do not judge one another but accept each other and because of that, we can truly flourish and become who God designed us to be. I love the fact that God sees us as he designed us, perfectly beautiful and wonderfully made. 

  Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in good season if we don’t give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us to good will towards all men and especially towards those that are in the household of our faith. 

Galatians 6:9-10

9 thoughts on “Burney Falls to Ashland

  1. Kelly, You are truly hiking for God and absorbing all He has to offer as you view His creation and the people He puts in your path. I pray for your safety daily and so anxious to hear all about it at a Vorlage meeting in the future. He has a purpose for each and every one of us. Keep spreading the word and the love!! I love where you are now as grew up on the Klamath River. It is God’s country. Enjoy and safe travels. Hugs!!!


  2. I thought Barista got off at Etna because of injury? I’m glad he’s still continuing. Whenever I smell smoking meat I think of Tanzania…


  3. He is still in the game. Slight stress fracture but he’s young and heals quickly! Must be nice! We are all holding up well. I’m thinking Tanzania is where he was. The blessings of hiking with others.


  4. I think the Lord is leading me to hike the trail next year. He is calling me and saying come walk on the water with me. Ive had so many years of pain and frustration and he wants me to come, heal, and be made new. By his grace he will bring me to the start and carry me to the end. As he is for you.
    God Bless,

    Thank you for telling your story…


  5. Haven’t seen any updates but I trust the Lord has you in His safe arms. What an inspiration you are to many and the scenery and stories of faith and insight are inspirational. May the Lord keep you safe on your continued journey!


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