Miles: 1561.9 to 1585.5
A deer walked through our tentsite overnight. It scuffed at the ground and stepped on some sticks. I was glad it wasn’t a bear.
I was tired in the morning but a 30-mile day will do that. It started off cooler than the last few days so we had high hopes for a less-than-stifling day.
At the major road crossing, there were a few cars in the parking lot. At one, a white SUV, a man asked if we were thru hikers.
Yes, we said.
That’s good, he said. Can I interest in a soda or Gatorade?
A little trail magic before a climb never hurt. We followed him to the rear of his SUV. After taking a Sprite and a blue Gatorade, he asked if we might like a Subway sandwich.
Are you kidding? I said.
As it turns out, the man’s wife is a Triple Crown hiker. The Triple Crown of thruhiking includes the AT, PCT and Continental Divide Trail (the CDT). Steady, as she is called on the trail, told us to take off our packs and laid down a sheet of Tyvec for us to sit on while we ate.
Steady’s husband kept bringing out more goodies. Pringles, condiments for our sandwiches, the choice of mini donuts or cookies, individually-sized pies, and finally, candy bars. It was amazing!
With the extra calories we figured we might actually make it to Seiad Valley, our next resupply, without completely running out of food! They basically gave us a half day’s worth of calories.
After leaving the lovely trail magic, we headed back up into the mountains. It was getting hot. We sweated up the climbs and tried to take advantage of every sliver of shade, sometimes walking on the edge of the trail just to stay shaded a few seconds longer.
We picked a water source to aim for for our afternoon break. Once there, we plopped down on two rocks and had a snack.
Just as we were gathering our stuff to keep on, a hiker ran past us to just under the shelter of the pines.
I almost got hit by lightning, he said. His name was Crash and he seemed very spooked.
A crack and rumble of thunder seemed to have followed him. It was right overhead now and very loud.
We kept hiking for a little while until the trail took us up and away from trees. Looking at the map, we knew we had quite a length of exposed trail ahead of us.
Since the thunder was still going nearby, we opted to wait it out. After an hour and a half, the worst was over and we got back to hiking.
We made it down off the ridge and to a nice campsite around 8 p.m.
Dinner was taco couscous, as Richard named it.