The day went ad planned, but the post office closed at two and I have some things I need to mail out, so I’m spending the night behind the Methodist Church until 10 am tomorrow and then heading out of town. The weather got a little warm in the afternoon, but I was able to get into town and get my resupply box and have a nice early dinner before the country store closed.
The wind on my little private ridge last night behaved but I still had troubles staying asleep. I didn’t use the tarp last night but I’m not sure if that had any effect or not. I might try sleeping on my stomach more to see if that helps because when I finally did that early in the morning, I slept for over an hour straight.
I managed to get out at 5:30 and after the fifteen minute warm-up of the feet, I was making a good pace on the trail. It was a little rocky, but it was the typical ridge and woods walk of the last few days. I passed several hikers who had not gotten up yet and leapfrogged with two of them most of the morning.
There were two medium climbs for the day, and when I peaked the second one, it was about 11:00 and my stomach was growling so I stopped and had first lunch. I didn’t want to dilly dally too much so I ate quickly and was off again in thirty minutes. When I got to the bottom of the mountain, the other two hikers had stopped for lunch. I chatted briefly and moved on.
I had done 14 miles by noon, so I was on a good pace to get there between 2 and 3 PM. The only problem with that plan is that the last six miles into town got quite rocky and steep downhill. It was hard to go fast with all the rocks. I started seeing day hikers as I got closer to the road. I finally made it to the road just before 3.
I rested a bit on a rock and drank some water because the sun had come out on those last six miles and I was quite hot and thirsty. One of the other hikers came by as I was changing into a clean shirt to hitch and we got a ride within ten minutes. It’s only a mile and a half, but riding beats walking on a road.
The country store was about what I expected. A mish mash of hiker goods and some meats and produce. I went straight to the deli to order a burger and a milkshake and then went to look for my resupply package. They have all the boxes stacked in the back and you just go find your own package. It took at least twenty minutes to find it. I bought a peach and paid for my burger while I waited for it to be ready. The online comments for this place talk about how expensive it is and how it takes an hour to get a burger. Well, it’s no joke. One grapefruit costs $3 and the burger really did take an hour to be ready. Management is not this place’s strong suit. Once it was ready, it was good, but not worth an hour wait.
There used to be a hotel across the street, but it is closed now, so all the hikers hang out over there. About a dozen hikers were there at any one time, so the conversation was always lively. I still had to sort out my resupply so I did that on the store side of the street. I have a few items I need to ship home and I packed five days of food in my box but only need three so I will be shipping two days of the food plus my broken pole to Ashland Oregon where I need to buy five days of food and hit the REI to get my poles replaced. But I will have to wait until 10 am tomorrow to do that, so here I am overnight in Sierra City.
I bough a beer from the store and hung out at the closed hotel for a few hours and chatted with the other hikers. Most of these guys started in mid April, so I’m officially in the bubble now. I saw Perch for about an hour when I first got into town, but he headed out since his resupply was done. Other than him, this is a whole new batch of hikers to me.
With so few businesses in town, one thing I’m missing is a shower and laundry. I was really hoping to get both. They have public restrooms down the hill from the church and one bathroom had a shower head in it so I was at least able to wash my feet and legs. The next two resupply stops do not have shower or laundry either, so this is going to be a rough stretch. I just hope it does not get too hot, or I might have to improvise with some back country laundry.
The lady who gave us a ride into town owns the only restaurant in town open for breakfast so I intend to hit that early (they open at 7:30) then pack up and wait for the post office to open and head back to the trail as soon as that chore is done. It’s a long hot four mile climb out of town and I want to get it over with as soon as possible. It’s also eight miles to water, so I’ll have to carry plenty with me.
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