8.6.18. 14.2 miles.
I purposefully set my alarm for a little later, 5:30 am, so I wouldn’t snooze my alarm, and I put my headlamp right next to my face so I could immediately turn it on when I woke up. The days are starting to get shorter, and it’s very noticeable in the mornings, especially when camped under some tree cover. I suspect this will just get worse as time goes on. It’s interesting bc I was so motivated in the desert to get up before sunrise and start hiking, but that motivation has been waning. Maybe I’m slightly sleep deprived? Mostly though, it’s just annoying getting ready in the dark when you’ve become accustomed to not doing that.
The hike into town was relatively boring. Lots of dead trees and debris and overgrown trail. It was mostly downhill but with short haunts of uphill, which was actually fine with me. The river was also really nice to follow for most of the morning. I did almost immediately start listening to Harry Potter just bc the hike was kind of boring, and I knew the road walk was not going to be fun.
I finished the trail portion of the day around 9, and still had 6.5 miles of road walk to go. I filled up my water bottles and started. The PCT is actually this long road that starts as gravel from the campground and turns to paved through the outskirts of town, travels on the highway over the bridge over the Klamath River and ends up on the “Main Street” of Seiad Valley until turning into trail again. Most of the roadwalk was filled with blackberry bushes along the side, so I treated myself to handfuls of the berries. They were so ripe and so good! A little more than halfway through the road walk, I ran into Bullshit, who I met coming out of Etna and who I’ve been leapfrogging with this last stretch. He stealth camped on a random side dirt road next to the main road. He night hikes until 2-3 am, and sleeps in, so it’s been fun for me to see when I run into him the next morning. I turned off HP and chatted with him the rest of the walk into Seiad Valley. We even had a truck stop and ask if we wanted a ride, but considering we only had another mile to go and these were real PCT miles, we declined.
We got to the cafe around 11:30 am, just missing the cutoff for breakfast, so we ordered lunch and sat down with Raven and Mr. Pineapple. Raven, true to his word, was in the middle of the 5 lb pancake challenge, in which you need to eat 5 humongous pancakes in 2 hours. If you do it, you get them for free. If you forfeit, it’s $15. Apparently only 5 people have completed the challenge and the last to do so was in 2016. Raven got halfway through before forfeiting, and our waitress said he did better than most who attempt. Raven however, felt like he was going to vomit for the rest of the afternoon, and kept belching like crazy. TBH, it made me nauseous just looking at his half eaten plate of pancakes.
i also need to note that Seiad Valley is a very interesting place that is the epicenter for the “State of Jefferson” movement, which is fervently against the Cascade-Siskyou National Monument (awkward... considering we’ll be walking through it), and wants to secede from Southern Oregon/ Northern California. You can google it if you’re interested. But it’s very prominent here. The town’s seal IS the State of Jefferson seal, which Bullshit and I agreed that is way too harsh for a separatist movement and should look nicer, like a picture of Thomas Jefferson, or something.
After the cafe closed, I hung out in the shade outside with the other hikers who were hiking out later, until I got hot and bored and tired of the flies, and ventured over to the RV park, where I was going to stay the night. I checked in and paid, then turned on the tv in the office after chatting with another hiker, and found out that the tv channels were on east coast time and the Bachelorette was on! So I got to watch the finale live, and some hikers were laughing at me, but some joined in on the fun! Notably, an older man who actually had been following the season, and would watch episodes in town, so HA to all the other ppl who made fun of me for watching it. Now it will be time to watch BIP for the rest of the summer, though I won’t be as religious about that one. I skipped the interview end of the show and went to the general store before they closed to buy “dinner” aka donuts, a Fanta, and a nectarine, then called my mom, set up the rest of my sleeping things, took a shower, then went back to the tv room to charge my phone more and watch tv with some other hikers, before going to sleep!