Day 110: Siead Valley

Fri. 8/9/13
24.4 miles (Miles 1647.8 – 1672.2)
Cold Spring Creek – Kangaroo Spring

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The morning felt like a rainforest stroll.

Up early, Cuddles and I trekked out through the damp forest. It was a pretty hike with towering trees, soft trail, fog hanging in the treetops, and cool temps to keep us cruising along. We even saw some cool snails!

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Super snail!

We crossed Grider creek over four bridges and continued to where the PCT actually follows a road for six miles into the tiny town of Siead Valley. Cuddles and I certainly didn’t mind the road walk – it was lined on both sides with tons of giant, plump, sweet and delicious blackberries! We couldn’t help stopping over and over again. I don’t know how many I ate, but it was a lot!

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Cuddles gathering blackberries.

When we were just about to town, Aloha drove by! What great timing! As soon as I stepped into town –  which consisted of a post office, convenience store, RV park and cafe – I started tearing my wet backpack apart. My sleeping bag and rain coat were draped over a fence, my tent and groundcloth on a picnic table, my rainfly hung over the side of the car, and my shoes were on the ground out in front of the cafe. It was really nice to have the opportunity to dry out.

The next chore was food. It was quite a wait at the cafe, but eventually I was able to eat too much. I filled up on brewed coffee, a cheeseburger, fries and a peanut butter milkshake. The Siead Valley Cafe is the famous PCT location of the almighty pancake challenge. It consists of five one-pound pancakes, butter and syrup, and there’s a two-hour time limit. The wall showed photos of those that have done it – there’s about five. I really hoped someone would attempt it while I was there, buy nobody tried. Most of us were planning on hiking out, and it’s a big climb out of the valley… it would be pretty tough with five pounds of expanding pancakes in our tummies.

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Home of the pancake challenge

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I wasn't up for the pancakes, but the milkshake was good!

Cuddles and I left around 4pm and started climbing. Once up higher, looking down in the valley we could see helicopters hovering over the Klamath River to pick up water, then fly up and into the far-off valley, the sound of their blades fading as they disappeared into a smoky haze. It looked like a new fire… maybe from that lightning from yesterday.

We climbed faster… then faster… I was feeling gun shy after my experience in the lightning yesterday. This was the sky today that pushed me along:

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There were more storms brewing. I watched lightning way off in the distance strike mountaintops that looked to be about the same height as us, but it was pretty far away. Clouds rolled and threatened rain, the wind blew strong on the west side off the ridge, and I hiked faster. We were totally exposed on that ridge. More so than yesterday. If that storm would’ve rolled over the top of us, it would have been really bad. I felt like I dodged a bullet. We barely even got any rain. Thank goodness!

It sounds like tomorrow might be my biggest day if things go well. Cuddles, Butters and I are thinking about 40 miles, but it depends on how my feet do. I hope to keep up with them. If I can, that will set me up well to maybe be able to go to Portland with Aloha on Tuesday to pick up my mom and dad from the airport. I can’t wait to see them!


Tonight I love dry gear. A lot.

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Blackberries galore!

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The road was full of cute little toads. We had to dodge them as we walked.

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Some aftermath from the storm. Trail debris from heavy rain runoff.

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Just a pretty flower.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

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