7/13/17 23.4 miles PCT mile 1655.00
Happy Birthday Dad!!
Last night we camped on a windy ridge right on top of another trail to a lake. It was a cold night as the wind whipped around us. I couldn’t get the jetboil to start so after several minutes of whining Matt crawled out of the tent and helped me. I cooked potstickers which had become mushy so they weren’t that good. Whaawhaaa
We woke up early, well kinda early 6am. We had a long day ahead of us but high hopes as usual. We had 25 miles to go to get to the very small community of Seiad Valley. Here we would have dinner and then either stay at the RV park or continue up the trail. The walk into Seiad was mostly downhill or flat so we knew we could make some good miles. I was a bit worried about all the downhill as my knees have been hurting so I had some ibproufen for breakfast. Matt began the morning by showing me the topo map on his Guthooks app which really exaggerates the hills. I’ve told him I don’t care to see these or the large hills I’m about to climb, but this does not dissuade him from sharing. The downhill looked very steep, but in actuality the downhill wasn’t that steep and I was fine. We cruised in the morning and we covered 11 miles before 11am. Everyone says if you get 10 before 10 (10 miles before 10am) you are doing good. We have yet to do this, so 11 before 11 seemed pretty good to us. We stopped for an early lunch and I pulled out my 2lb bag of refried beans and made a bean and cheese burrito. Matt was not excited about me buying a large sack of beans but he decided he could have a burrito too. The beans were starting to get warm and tasted a bit sour. They smelled ok so I decided it was edible. I think I might have to throw my bag of beans away when I get to town. I also finished off my bag of butterfinger bites. I ate this bag in a day and a half and noticed on the back of the package that 4 pieces is a thoughtful portion. I consumed about 10 pieces during each sitting so I must be very thoughtful.
While we were eating a couple we just met that day who is also from Seattle strolled by and stopped for a quick chat in which they gave us some heartbreaking news. The worst news was that the cafe we were trying to get to for dinner closes at 2pm. Nooooo and why?? It’s the only restaurant in town. Then as if that wasn’t a large enough blow some southbounders had to say, “it’s hot down in the valley I wouldn’t want to go where you are going.” Under my breath I said, I wouldn’t want to go where you are going, it’s hot out there too! I knew it was gonna be hot in Seiad Valley as it drops to almost 1,000 feet, of course it’s hot! Anyways our new goal was to get to the small store and hopefully we could get something for dinner there.
We stopped at the 4th crossing of Grider creek to cool off and get some water. The water was slow enough that we could lounge in it but not deep enough to swim in. Matt played merman on some rocks that he described as being where the action is. You could sit on the rocks and when you got hot jump below them and cool off. I could have stayed here all day but we had a 6.4 mile road walk into town to look forward to so we eventually left.
We began the roadwalk by listening to some podcasts. It was hot out but there was shade so it wasn’t completely miserable. After walking 3 of the 6 road miles a truck pulled up next to us and offered us a ride. Matt said no, but I said yes. So we jumped in and in a matter of minutes we were in the bustling town of Seiad Valley. We went shopping and spent an astronomical figure on very few goods in the store. This store buys some of their food from Walmart and then marks it up 300% and sells it. Matt bought an unreasonably large amount of food while I needed more but couldn’t seem to find any I wanted. I would have to steal some of Matt’s food if needed. We bought over priced salads and Matt bought macaroni salad. It was so hot out so I couldn’t imagine why he would want macaroni salad. We gathered with the other hikers to wait out the evening heat. Matt wanted to stay at the RV park but I wanted to get a bit down the trail as I knew we had a big climb ahead of us. We headed out with Lt. Dan, Fluffy, and Peanut as we finished the 1 mile road walk back to the trail. We hiked up a half mile to the first campsite that was for 2 tents and crammed 6 tents into the site which was covered in poison oak. 3 more hikers showed up who were from Israel and this was their first night on trail. As 9pm approached the Israeli’s were still up and it was clear it was their first night on trail as the rest of us veterans had crawled into our tents and were trying to fall asleep. I put my earplugs in and then fell fast asleep, despite the fact that the heat was causing us to sweat while laying still.
I also documented the various wildflowers while traversing down the hill.