So much awesome it’s hard to even sum up but lemme try.
This section was physically harder than I expected it to be, mostly because of the smoke from tons of fires raging in NorCal, Oregon and Washington. It was hard to breathe so everything was more challenging. I’m also hiking faster, even when it’s hot and uphill and horrible, so it’s harder on my body even though the actual elevation gain is less than what I’m used to in the Sierra. Lots of the seasonal streams & creeks were bone dry so I had to carry more water and it’s HEAVY! The sources that were running were not ideal, but I was really grateful for the muddy little streams we did find.
I got a bus to Seiad Valley, CA (the last town in Cali on the PCT) because I wanted to walk into Oregon. It’s a tiny town that is fiercely rallied around creating an independent state of Jefferson; I had some very interesting conversations there with the locals.
From Seiad Valley, I walked up a jeep road about five miles, then got picked up by a dude in a pickup. After piling two hikers plus four packs in the back, we took off speeding up towards the pass. We stopped to load up more hikers and more packs, and the driver called out to us, “hey there’s a chicken in the Tupperware.” I thought he meant rotisserie but he meant a live one! Then he sped off again and I just clung to the side of the truck for dear life as he barreled up the road and the chicken scratched and pecked in the Tupperware.
This stretch of trail was about 60 miles through beautiful forests with lichen-covered trees and wildflowers galore! It was also opening weekend for bow hunting in Cali so we saw a lot of hunters. I really love this terrain and I hope to be able to explore it sometime when it’s not completely encased in smoke or overrun by dudes in camouflage…