10.7 miles (Miles 1186.9 – 1197.6)
PCT Mile 1186.9 – Sierra City
The morning hike was through some forest that reminded me of the Wisconsin northwoods, with tall pines and some sort of leaf tree that was maybe a maple. Our trail was soft and covered in pine needles or dried leaves, and sometimes a mix of both. The sun peeked through in some places, but when in that forest, we were mostly shaded. Then we’d hike out into an opening, the trail would change over to rocky switchbacks, and we’d get a grand view of a beautiful valley again – nope, this isn’t Wisconsin!
We hiked with purpose this morning again. We were heading into Sierra City. Aloha, food, showers…
We still couldn’t resist a perfect swimming hole, though. Hunny Bunny and I were standing on the bridge high over the river and she says to me, “a swim is really tempting…” I agreed, stared, then said, “screw it. Let’s go!” We both started down the steep, slippery hill to the water, and Tears and Bryan (Fruit Basket?) followed. It was cold but very refreshing. There was even a rock for me to jump off of. It was nice to get the thick, black layer of dirt off my legs before heading into civilization, but swimming for me is more just about the fun of it. Getting a little cleaner is a good bonus.
We got to the road a couple of hours earlier than we thought, so Aloha wasn’t there yet. Bryan (Blueberry?) was talking about maybe trying to hitch for the experience. We were still kind of tucked back in the parking lot away from the road, but he heard a vehicle coming. He stuck out his thumb from his sitting position almost jokingly, not even really looking, and boom – breaklights! We all laughed when the van that came by pulled over! Tears and I were going to wait a bit, but about ten minutes later Bryan (Fruit Basket?) pulled up in his car and offered us a ride. We didn’t have any phone service where we were so we went.
Aloha was still a little ways out of town, but on his way. We grabbed a bite to eat, and by the time we were done, the Pickle Jar had arrived. I was excited to see Aloha – and Bryan (Blueberry?) got to meet him too. Those two will probably meet up in Oregon for some trail magic extraordinaire. We are getting darn close to Oregon, too. I looked at a map of the whole PCT and my jaw dropped. It’s cool to see how far we’ve come.
Next super-important town project:
Thank you, Randall, for the milkshake money for my birthday!
And yeah, so it’s my birthday tomorrow, so we were going to celebrate it here tonight. Bill and Margaret at the Red Moose Inn in town were excited to let us do just that. What a great little place. They are really sweet people, and really care about the hikers – they even let hikers camp in their back yard for free! Aloha and I got a room in town, but if it weren’t my birthday, we most likely would have stayed there. It was fun to hang out there with all the other hikers, though!
Adam’s mom had sent me some party favors in a box a couple of weeks ago, so we pulled them out to enjoy with the other hikers. Mini whoopie cushions, noise-makers and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey were really fun! Thanks, Tara! Aloha also bought me a big balloon and tied it to me, and Tears got me a glittery “Princess” tiara to wear… and a pair of my favorite Injinji socks for hiking! Aloha also brought party hats for everyone, a big sheet cake, and about eight kinds of ice cream. It was fun sitting around with a bunch of hikers and eating up an entire sheet cake and four gallons of ice cream! What a fun little party. Margaret even played pin-the-tail with all of us!
A huge thanks to Bill and Margaret for letting us celebrate at their place, and being a great part of a memorable birthday! And thanks to all you hiker trash that were there, too! I had a great birthday celebration – fer sher. ;)
Oh – and when we were hiking today, I wondered if there was anyone else on the PCT that had a July 16th birthday, too. Well, when I was sitting on the porch at the Red Moose, Rock Steady leaned over and gave me a knuckle-bump and says, “hey! Tomorrow’s my birthday, too!” How cool! And weird, since I was just talking about that… I think we’re both going to wear birthday hats tomorrow as we hike.
Tonight I love birthdays. I felt extra-special tonight!
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!