Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Day 14 - Sierra City

I'm going to preface this post saying it is going to be light on trail imagery. My big brick died last night and my phone only had 68% charge when I went to bed last night. I wasn't sure how long it would last, and I wanted to be able to send off my whereabouts tonight so I kept it off for the bulk of the day. I needn't have worried, as you will see. 

Today began like most days out here. Broke camp and started walking, this time about 6:45. I knew there wouldn't be really steep climbs today and most of the day this was true. I spent the first hour or so walking along the tops of the mountains out here, meandering really. Kinda nice. 

Early on I passed really large Gold Lake, where there be 🛶. After that was 🦌 Lake, where I saw folks just up from me waiting for the eclipse, or so I thought. I went over to chat and met a NOBO named Glass Half Full and a nice young woman named Clara, who was slicing up 🍉 and giving it out to us hikers. This was my first chance at trail magic this time around and it was sweet. I sat there for about 45 minutes till the clouds started to come in and I realized I didn't want to get caught in rain so I left with some fruit unconsumed.  It was getting to be eclipse time anyway and I had my piece of paper with a hole in it, just in case. 

Walk, walk, walk and finally the clouds dissipated and the odd light was upon me. I took a selfie with the light from the sun. 

And another of the light by itself. It was cool. 

It was brief though and soon I was rounding some hills and saw the rocks of the Sierra Buttes. I am sad to say I have no images I can share here, cause I took none. I was getting close to the 7 mile mark when I met a couple named Jeff, Yolanda, their son Levi and their wonder dog Quinn, as in the mighty...

We yacked it up for a bit and I went on to a spot named Packer Lake Summit, which is the trailhead for this section of trail. I stopped for lunch, it being then 11am, and I started thinking just how cool it would be to get a ride to Sierra City. The original plan for the day was to go only 3 more miles, where there was water. I would have gotten there so early in the day, having finished 10 easy miles, and then what would I have done? (Here come the rationalizations.) Given the terrain past the water source, I would have needed to walk almost the whole way to Hwy 49 to find trees to hang in for the night. That would have made a 14 or 15 mile day, which was more than I wanted to do. Or just go the 3 miles and do the rest tomorrow. Or, maybe my new best friends would like to take me to Sierra City, where they are staying for two weeks?

I was debating back and forth about what I should do, walk on or wait and see.... While I was dithering, my new friends came back and Jeff said "I know you are hiking the trail but if you want we could take you to town." What was I to do? Sometimes the pull towards comfort is more than I can resist. My pack was in the back of their vehicle before anyone noticed and off to town we went. BTW, the Buttes are stunning. At least from a car. 

These lovely folks dropped me at the Sierra Country Store and invited me to dinner, as no restaurants were open on Monday. 

I went in to check and see if my boxes were there (food and poncho) then I was off to find a place to stay. River Haven is a nice home and Susan, the owner, rents rooms and tents to hikers and other travelers. 

A shower and laundry washing got me cleaned up and presentable again. At 6pm I walked to the cabin Jeff, Yolanda and Levi are staying at and had great summer BBQ food. Grilled veggies, chicken, sausages and corn on the cob. Yum, yum, yum. I am sorry I forgot to get a photo of these wonderful folks. Maybe when I head back out of town I can remember to stop and get evidence of their awesomeness.  Tomorrow is a day of rest. 

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