Miles Hiked: 27.9
PCT Mileage: 1662.6
Last night I didn’t sleep well because there were deer walking all over our campsite. I heard other people yelling like the deer were messing with their things. I woke up at 4:30am to Trail Diva packing up her things. By 5am I was on the trail walking in the dark with my broken headlamp on the red light because the white light hasn’t worked this whole trail. Luckily it was all downhill 22 miles to town. The trail was steep and there were lots of blown down trees I had to step over. There were tons of bushes I had to push away to get through and the trail was super eroded so it was slow going for a bit. I had to straddle a big log sloping downhill over the trail at one point. When I did this my pack weight overtook me and started to pull me forwards. I tweaked my back trying to correct the movement and land on my feet instead of falling down the hill. It hurt but there was nothing I could do besides keep hiking. Eventually I caught up to Trail Diva and Homebrew. We all took a quick break to filter water at a shady stream before pushing on and hiking together. It was a lot of fun to cruise down the hill on a super easy trail after all the bush whacking was done. I can’t get over how easy a lot of the PCT is. People keep commenting about my high mileage out here but if they saw this trail vs the Appalachians or the CDT they wouldn’t be surprised at all. 90% of the time the trail is perfectly groomed and graded with an amazing view you didn’t have to do any hard work for. It has its moments of toughness for sure but they seem to be few and far between. The trail is a red carpet. I think if I had hiked this perfect trail first maybe I wouldn’t have developed a genuine love for hiking and gone on to hike anything else. It probably would have been a one and done thing for me. Luckily the Appalachians taught me to love hiking for the sake of hiking regardless of how difficult it can be at times.
Anyways, we took one more break under a bridge at a stream before doing the six mile road walk into town. Here the trail was actually on a paved road and it really hurt my feet to walk on it. I was glad we took a break beforehand because I knew this would happen. On the road walk we passed a sign that said 1,000 miles left! It hit me hard that this journey is about to be over very fast and that I should make it to Canada by September. The road was hot in the sun and I tried to stay on the edges where there was occasional shade. We passed a few signs that said “Slow Down!” And I thought it was a message from the trail to enjoy these last few weeks to the fullest extent. Because the trail is so easy I’ll still be keeping my mileage about the same to avoid boredom. And I just have a ton of fun hiking all day long. It’s why I’m out here. There were black berries just begging to ripen on the roadside. Homebrew and I would make dives into the bushes to get the few sweet juicy fruits that were available. I was happy when the road walk was finally over and we made it to the Cafe at Seiad Valley. Like a few other places on this trail, I opted to skip the cafe and eat from the general store because it appeared that I wouldn’t be served for over an hour. I was happy to get an ice cold slushy immediately and also bought some Oreos and a burrito for resupply. I still had a lot of food left from Etna. I carried way too much. Another hiker told us about a shady spot under the bridge with some cold beer in the stream. We all went down there to take a very long break and wait out the heat of the day. I ended up taking a short nap and it was great.
After hours long of resting, we packed up to hike out at 6pm. We heard the climb out of Seiad Valley was steep and exposed. We wanted to do it in the cool of the evening. Other hikers showed up at the general store and cafe while we were napping. Road Soda handed me a beer to go. I intended to save to celebrate at the Oregon border. The hike up was hot but shaded and not as bad as I had thought it would be. It is definitely one of the steepest parts of the PCT according to the miles and elevation gain I could see on the map. Honestly I think the Appalachian Trail is that steep most of the time. Halfway up the climb, I took a break to talk to Sticky. I set my pack on a log but it fell off and the beer inside the mesh of my pack busted open and started squirting everywhere. I shotgunned it all at once and then continued to hike. I just drank a beer in the middle of the hottest and steepest climb yet! Oops. Too bad I couldn’t save it for the border. This part was a little adventure because I missed the trail pretty easily by following foot prints. I ended up bushwhacking straight up a hill. It was fun for a bit. I was glad to finally get to camp in the cool of the evening with a nice sunset and a great view of Shasta in the distance. Spots were few and far between because the hillside was so steep but we made it work. What a great last day in California! Tomorrow I will cross the Oregon border. I’m so excited.