PCT: Oregon to Seiad Valley ̶̶ September 3, 2018
My Big Bend trip in June was supposed to end in Ashland, but logistics and snow cut it short at Seiad Valley. This little trip is a back and forth to fill in that gap. I drove on the forest service roads past Mt. Ashland and camped near Siskiyou Gap. The next morning I drove to Observation Peak (1692.5) and began my hike from there.
Tuesday. Lo 45. Hi 75. 24.3 miles to 1668.2
I had been following Snacks' blog. He was a yoyo hiker on the PCT. That means he went from Mexico to Canada then back to Mexico in a single year. I was hoping to jump on the trail ahead of him and let him catch up to me. When I got to the register on the border I saw that he had signed in the day before. :(
However, as I descended the curves from the border I heard someone whoop and holler. When I stopped for water at the first piped spring, Airborne caught up to me. I "knew" him from Snacks' blog. They hiked Washington and part of Oregon together. We talked for a while and connected over our love for winter skiing and snowshoeing in the backcountry. You will see him in the video at the end of this post.
Wednesday. Lo 60. Hi 100. 19.4 miles to 1653.4 then bounce back to 1658.
One disadvantage of section hiking is that you are always constrained by time limits to make your goal and then get back to work. The other major disadvantage is always getting back into shape. It takes me several days, at least. Not only must one adjust from a mostly sedentary life to constant activity, but the extremes of heat and cold also must be incorporated.
Going downhill 5000 feet to Seiad Valley was not difficult, but walking in 100 degree heat after a cool Klamath Falls summer required an adjustment. I sat at the picnic tables under the tree at the store and talked with other hikers for an hour while I drank half a gallon of orange juice. (It never came out!) Then I started my return trip up the hill. I made it only about 4 miles of the 10 I had hoped.
Thursday. Lo 60. Hi 75. 22.5 miles to 1680.5
I played leap frog with Josh, an American, and a British girl and a German girl. They night hiked to an old cabin a mile from the border, but I stopped just before sundown at a high spot. Along the way, I caught up to Josh at supper time. He had seen a bear with two cubs, but scared them away, so by the time I got there they were long gone. Then, while I was setting up my tent, the Brit asked if I had seen the bear and two cubs! I had my camera this time, but my timing was perfectly wrong!
Friday. Lo 55. Hi 75. 12.5 miles to 1692.5
Today was a short day back to the car.
The video below is my first attempt at vlogging a hike. I made for my friend, Tom, who likes to get outdoors but now has a bad hip that limits him to less than a mile.