Location- Seiad Valley
Elevation- 1,371 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 37.4 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1653.4 miles
Weather/Temp- clear 70s 80s
Injuries- sore feet, sore knees
Pain level- moderate
Days without shower- 6
Hit the trail at 7 am moving fast. Almost right off the bat, I saw two spotted fawns that were so small that I thought they were rabbits. They bounded into the thick brush before I could get a picture, but I saw no mama deer. I hope they weren’t orphaned…
Rambler got an earlier start than me, but I caught him in about two hours near a run down old cabin. I sat and had brunch with him and another hiker named Bobber for about 30 minutes as deer grazed around us before pushing on at a fast pace, telling him I’d see him in town tomorrow.
During our brunch, a very fat chipmunk had taken an interest in me. Usually they are terrified of people, and disappear at the first sight of us (you literally see about a thousand of them a day out here.)
This one kept getting close, so I tossed him an entire chip’s ahoy cookie. He snatched it up greedily and ran off. 5 minutes later, he was back with full cheeks; I tossed him another. He grabbed it up, nibbled it for a little bit, ran off with it, then came back again.
The poor little fella was probably jumping out of his skin on a sugar high, so I cut him off from anymore cookies. I’m sorry, but I simply can’t resist interacting with the wildlife when the opportunity presents itself. Sue me
I finished one last good climb, then began a 23 mile descent that would end with a more than 5 mile road walk into Seiad. I ended up befriending a Doe that was grazing right next to me near an old, dirt service road. She got very comfortable grazing right by me without getting spooked. The peace I feel when I get to interact or be near these animals is indescribable. I am still a hunter and a fisherman at heart, but my love and respect for these creatures is strong. I know it’s hard for people to understand being able to hunt and kill, but also love, respect, and find peace around these creatures, but I’m afraid it’s something I cannot explain. A case of nurture versus nature perhaps, or the conflict/coexistence of both. I do not know.
By the time I’d finished the incredibly long descent and followed the Grider River for many miles, my feet were toast, and I’d racked up over 30 miles. The prefect time to hit hard, unforgiving pavement for a 5+ mile road walk.
Road walks always seem to take forever, because it doesn’t feel like you’re moving. Not to mention it’s murder on sore feet at the end of the day.
It took me about 2 hours to walk the road into Seiad (the trail and the road are the same), and arrive at about 8:30 pm, 37.4 miles completed. 150 miles, Shasta to Seiad, done in 5 days, mission accomplished.
I’m camped in front of another RV park. This town in small, consisting of only a country store, a small cafe, post office, and old timey gas station.
There is a pancake challenge here that I’m eager to lose. It’ll be my 4 th such eating challenge of the long trails, all of which I have failed miserably. I’m not afraid nor ashamed to be a loser, so I’ll never pass one up. CARPE DIEM!