PCT 2018 Day 76, July 7, Saturday.
Start Seiad Valley, RV park, mile 1653.4, but skip to mile 1733.1, state highway 66 at Green Springs Mountain Summit
End mile 1747.6, flat spot near Klum Landing Park
Miles walked: 14.5
After breakfast at the diner, six of us hire someone at the RV park to drive us to Ashland in his Explorer: Wifey, FarWalker, Cowboy, Ruffles, Bernard, and myself. Mitch and Gem would follow on another trip. The PCTA website still does not show the trail as closed due to fire, but some details are updated. The devastation of the fire along Interstate is something to remember. The ground is still smoking in places. Some level ground is spared, where hillsides are likely to be charred. We can see where the fire has jumped across the interstate in places. Incident response areas are full of firetrucks and equipment. We are dropped off at an Ashland hostel, and the other hikers decide to enjoy one of the coolest towns on the trail. The Ashland Shakespeare Festival is going, and many restaurants, museums, and shops beckon. Just kidding– they are probably headed to a brewpub or three.
We learn that the PCT was officially closed during our road trip. I determine to resupply and hike on. On my way, Wifey texts me that the PCT is now closed further than we expected, so we need to hitch on highway 66 instead of Interstate 5. A trail angel, Fireweed, stops me on my walk to the grocery store, and makes sure I know about the closure, and offers a ride after my shopping, so I get her number. Yay. After Albertson’s, I am about to get some lunch but meet hikers Bloody Smooch and Boston Scrambler, and skip the meal and we call the angel. Onwards to the trail. The path starts easy, with no big climbs, and the air is hazy with smoke at first. A trail angel stops on a forest road to offer pizza, which helps make up for the meal I skipped.
The water fountain on the trail near Hyatt Lake Campground was not functioning. Hiking to the campground, all faucets were turned off. Later I diverted cross-country down to the lake for water, but it was muddy and tasted disgusting after filtering. This section of the trail has few water sources. I press on to Klum Landing campground, arriving by headlamp after dark, and refill water at the restroom and camp back near the trail.
Finished audiobook The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J Sullivan.