Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 89-91 - Etna And Beyond

Tuesday morning I hiked a couple miles down to the road.  I found Mousetrap there talking to a man with a Jeep.  Mousetrap hadn't seen any good campsites and had made it all the way to the road the night before.  We talked with the Jeep owner for a while, then he gave us a ride down to Etna.  The road down had next to no traffic on it, is very curvy and downhill the whole 15 miles into town.  We went to one of the few restaurants in town for breakfast.  There we ran into G-Man.  He had made it to the road the morning prior and waited until 3:00 or so before getting a ride.

We all stayed at a motel just down the road.  I got a shower, did laundry, had a burger for lunch and got food from the grocery store.  Too much, as always.  Even though I eat a lot on the trail, I almost always buy more food than I need.  It's just 3 days until Seiad Valley, but I probably bought enough for 5.  I have to carry it all the way there, but it's less to buy in the next town (where I'll still buy too much).

Dennis, Bird Nut, Basa and another hiker named Andrew made it into town that afternoon.  It was nice having several other hikers around after going quite a while only seeing one or two here and there.  After breakfast G-Man and Dennis got a ride to the trailhead with the hostel owner.  I wasn't packed in time to try to tag along.  Instead I tried calling a local who offers rides, but couldn't reach him.  It turns out he had to give that up anyway.  Mousetrap and I ended up standing in the middle of town trying to get a hitch.  There's very little traffic going up into the mountains there.  We actually ended up getting a ride from a sheriff who was heading out there.  We were hiking again by 11:30.  Dennis and I camped that night near a tiny lake on the side of a ridge where there seemed to be a stream across the trail every 1-200 feet or so.

On Thursday I wanted to get set up for an early afternoon arrival into Seiad Valley the next day.  I did about 26.5 miles over 12 hours; marathon distance but not exactly marathon speed.  I do take lots of 20-40 min breaks.  Friday will be a big downhill into Seiad Vally, which is at about 1300 feet in elevation.

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