I made it back to the “official” Sierra-Cascade route, that is I reached highway 89. Given that the first part of it this morning was shoulderless and there was not much traffic but what there was, was logging trucks, it was probabely a good choice to make the slightly longer backroad journey. There is hardly a way to avoid these trucks. They start operating at 3am when it is still all dark. My last campsite (somewhere out in the forest…) was near a logging site. I could hear more cars between 3am and 5.30am when I finally got up than the entire day before on that road. There was supposed to be a restaurant at Bartle, the place where I hit the hwy again. I had been looking forward to some pancakes as a second breakfast after an uneasy night and a quick and early start in the morning. But it wasn’t there. So I went on towards South, expecting it to show up anytime. It didn’t. I was almost out of water and there had been a house at the junction, it might have been the restaurant. I turned back after three miles. It really wasn’t the restaurant. I knocked at the door (private property, posted, no trespassing… ) hoping for water. There was nobody, but the sprinklers in the garden were on. I filled my bottles from them and got a nice fresh morning shower. The would have been on the highway 1 mile back towards Mt. Shasta.
Whenever you are in national forest it is legal to camp just anywhere. And they advertise it well whether you are in national forest or not. If there are lots of brown signs, you are free to camp out. And I have learned by now how to make bear proof camp. But still I always feel uneasy out there in the green knowing that there is nobody around for miles.