85. July 4: Mile 1187.05 Campsite to Mile 1195.04 Sierra City, CA
There’s no other way to slice it, waking up at 5:00 AM every morning sucks. Even when you go to bed at like 8:00 or 9:00 in the evening it still sucks. So when we heard that our hotel/cabin wasn’t going to be available until 2:00 PM and since we only had eight miles to town, sleeping in was all of a sudden on the cards. And boy to did we sleep in. Well, by hiker standards at least. I think we woke up around 8:00 giving us a full 12 hours of sleep in addition to laying in the tent for another hour or so before making a hot breakfast of oat meal and Snickers bars (the Snickers weren’t hot for the record, just the oats).
The hike to town was pretty easy. It was all downhill and dry so we were able to crush those eight miles in about three hours. The scenery was really beautiful. Lots of tall lichen covered pines, a few Redwoods, and plenty of ferns and plants in the understory. As we neared the trailhead we crossed a bridge that went over a whitewater river cascading down massive boulders. There were “normies” (non-thru hiking folk) playing near the water and enjoying the holiday.
Right before we reached the road into town Glowworm and I came across two styrofoam boxes with the words “trail magic” written on the lids. This is the second time in two days! We were elated to find Coors in one of the boxes and chips and Reece’s in the other. Piss warm beer had never tasted so good.
We got a hitch into town, which wasn’t more than two miles anyway, but we just didn’t feel like walking more than we had to. It was a father and son and they father was saying that they were planning on going up Mt. Whitney later this month. I advised them to not do what I did and ascend too fast. The guy then said that he has summited Mt. Everest…guess he didn’t need any advise. I’ve never met anyone who’s summited Everest and he was so chill and humble about it too. He totally understood our predicament in the Sierras and didn’t ask us a bunch of questions about the PCT. He just knew. It’s so nice to be able to meet people off trail that you can just have a normal conversation with without having to explain yourself and what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Towns are always something that we look forward to on the trail. A shower, laundry, a bed to sleep in, a hot meal that isn’t pasta or rice, wifi and cell service. We don’t really ask for a whole lot; we’re pretty simple people. We don’t need entertainment, we don’t need activities, just a place to hit the reset button. But for whatever reason that can be hard to come by. Sierra City is a pretty small town and we admittedly arrived on July 4th so nothing was opened except the general store which had a deli that made sandwiches and grilled burgers, but it was a long wait do I opted to not get anything around lunch time. The wifi at the store was basically dis functional, but at least there was cell service at the storefront (although it was only at the storefront and nowhere else in town). The accommodations we’re staying at are within our budget which was refreshing after Truckee where prices were through the roof, but the only place to eat after 6:00 that was open was the restaurant at the resort we’re staying at and its prices were like going to St. Elmo (An expensive steak house in Indianapolis for you non-Hoosier folks. And for those who are unfamiliar with that term, a Hoosier is someone from Indiana. Don’t ask why because we don’t really know). In addition there’s no cell service at the hotel and the wifi is only reachable if you sit within 10 feet of the router.
Ok so before you judge me for being an arrogant, entitled prick, let me at least try to explain myself. All I want when I get into town is an affordable meal, an affordable place to stay, a shower, laundry, and the ability to call home and post this blog that you all read. So far I’ve only been able to accomplish half of those. Oh well, we’ll try again in Belden.
I was able to find a soup and salad for $12 at the resort restaurant which honestly was incredibly good and quite filling which I wasn’t expecting. So I was able to end the day on a positive note. Yay!