From Three-fork Fir Campsite by Buckhorn Spring (Mile 1640.8) to Seiad Valley RV Park (Mile 1662)
Total PCT Miles Hiked Today: 21.2
Ouch! We got up at 5am under the giant three-pronged White Fir (we are calling it Yggdrasil), and I made mocha lattes in the dark by headlamp while Seano & Dionysus got packed up. Our trail buddy, Tom Sawyer, also was packing. All of us wanted to reach the Seiad Valley before 2pm when the café in the tiny town closes.
That meant we'd have to pound out 22 miles in 7 hours. Our pace is good but not speedy anymore -- given the fasciitis Dionysis and I are currently struggling with (and, to be fair, even with foot pain Dionysus could zip down the mountain much faster than Seano & I manage). So we set off -- and eat no breakfast and take no breaks for seven hours. Hard going - and the heat increased as we descended. [And we are rushing so, we forget to take any photos].
But what beautiful deep forests met us as we went. The tall moss-furry conifers got taller & taller -- and the understory greener and full of ferns and flowers and berries. The voice of the winter wren tinkled and tumbled among the silent pillars. The polished russet skin of the madrone trees caught the filtering sunlight in a glow.
On the road walk into town -- hot hot hot -- next to the river, what blackberries tempted us! Yum! But we couldn't dawdle, since we were running out of time to make it to town food. Signs of NO MONUMENT and STATE OF JEFFERSON sprouted up here and there. Lots of anti-government signage together with conservative political slogans. Odd.
A local stoner (who works doing "trimming" in the marijuana industry) offered to give us a ride as we neared the town.
We made it to the café just in the knick, and ordered hearty sandwiches. Seano had a chocolate shake and I had a root beer float while we waited for our sandwiches. Lots of eating ensued. But Tom Sawyer had fallen far behind and we hadn't seen him for awhile, so we picked up a club sandwich and fries for him from the café. [It turns out once he realized he wasn't going to make it in time, he slowed down and enjoyed the bumper crop of roadside blackberries along the way].
We staggered over to the campground and rested a bit. We had descended more than 4500 feet over the course of 20 miles. Tomorrow it will be an ascent of the same magnitude -- but in just 9 miles, and the slope faces the hot sun. By all accounts tomorrow -- a scorcher according to the weather service -- will start off punishing. But then it's only two and a half days to Ashland, Oregon. Wow. In two days we cross the 1700 mark -- and we'll have less than 1000 miles before us.
So we are camped under the maples on the lawn of the campground -- among about ten other thru-hikers scattered about -- and anticipating an early start. The store-owner next door has made an extra run to Yreka for restocking (apparently about 90 hikers came through during the weekend and (like locusts?) depleted the store's inventory. So we'll revisit the store at 6 am, and have breakfast at 7 o'clock. On the trail by 8?
It'll be getting hot, we reckon.
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