Day 75, July 8th
Start: camp at mile 1,597
End: Shelly lake, mile 1,617
Miles hiked: 20

5:45am – wake up to rustling. Not a chance and Mac are up. Dirt monger and Bearclaw are also up.

6:00am – the four of them leave camp to hike to the road, 9.5 miles away. Guthrie, sheriff, carrot and I get up. Sheriff leaves right away.

6:15 I leave camp. Carrot is still making breakfast. Guthrie is packing up. The trail is soft.

8:15 am – I stop in awe as I get a view from far above Smith lake. The valley below is lush, full of farms and crops. It’s overcast, and the morning light comes down in rays through the clouds, lighting the green surface of the earth below. Shasta is well defined in the distance.

8:30am – sheriff, carrot, and Guthrie catch up to me at the same spot. I’m still taking pictures in awe. We all talk for a few minutes and move on.

9:30 am – reach Etna summit, meet Anna there. She is definitely from the 1920’s. Long corduroy dress, button up plaid shirt, high leather work boots, and short brunette hair with cracked glasses. She’s dirty, but she’s not a thru-hiker. We wish she was, as her look is fantastic.

10:00 am. Anna gets a ride, she’s going the other way as us. As she leaves, a car drives up and drops off caboose. It’s his friend, frank, who offers to give he four of us a ride into town.

10:30 am – carrot to hiker hut. Laundry and shower for her. Guthrie and I skip both of those tasks. It’s pizza time for us. We have our priorities. I eat pizza, chat with locals who own this tiny cafe, and do some blogging. I drink lots of chocolate milk. And soda. It’s a small little heaven for me.

11:00 am – mass pizza consumption.

12:00 pm – still eating pizza and drinking soda. Don’t judge me… Or do.

11:45 am. Two older gentlemen come into the cafe. They order the most plain sandwiches ever. Turkey and cheese, nothing else. Bag of old fashioned potato chips, and a Pepsi, of which they drink with straws. I’ve definitely transported back in time here in Etna. The town is tiny and cute, I really like it here. Everyone waves, and there’s a big sign on building, “the chamber of commerce of Etna welcomes PCT hikers!” This town may look as though it’s decaying, but I love it.

12:30 – carrot walks up in loner clothes as I continue throwing pizza at my face. No box for her, even though she had her resupply person send one to town, so she has to resupply at the tiny grocery. Luckily it’s only 55 miles to seiad valley. Shout out to Andrea, who is sending all of my resupplies. She hasn’t missed one, and I know she won’t the entire way. She’s on top of things. Much respect, girl.

1:30. Guthrie and I leave cafe and head to hiker hut. Mac, not a chance, woody, carrot, zombie, and Bambi are all there. Watching tv in a tiny room that’s eleventy billion degrees. Guthrie and I can only stand the sauna for a few minutes before leaving.

2:00 pm – Guthrie and I get back to trailhead after getting a hitch right away on the road. We plan 10.5 miles. That way the others can catch up. They’re all still in town. Who knows when they’ll get out today, or if they even will. We hike on, with bellies full of pizza pie and dr pepper. Dr pepper is to Guthrie what Mountain Dew is to Twinkle.

5:00 pm. We walk on ridges all day, and it’s beautiful. We’re in the marble mountains, and they’re pretty alright. Huge valleys, mountain sides covered in giant pines, craggy summits and ridge lines. It’s still overcast, and that makes me happy. Less heat. It starts to drizzle on us. My prayers have been answered.

6:30 pm – get to camp. Mosquitos EVERYWHERE. It’s a disaster. I lose at least two and a half liters of blood setting up my tarp and bug net. Good thing I’m immune to these little bastards, as their bites don’t make me itch. Not one bit, ever. Shout out to my mom and dad for their awesome DNA/blood lines that allow me the good fortune of immunity to both Mosquitos and poison ivy/poison oak. It’s cool, all my friends are jealous. Much love Bill & Sue.

7:30 pm – eat leftover pizza in my bug net. Bugs want it. They can’t get it. Idiots. I got an x-large pizza while in town, just for myself. I wanted to pack some out. Trail pizza. Genius.

8:00 pm – food coma. So much pizza. Time to sleep. Good night, world.