I had a more normal day hour wise, but the terrain got a bit rougher in the afternoon. I’m not even sure exactly what time I started hiking, but I think it was probably about 6:30 based on how long I was listening to music in the morning. I ended the day at a campsite by a lake at about 7:30. I would have gone an hour more, but the terrain ahead is steep and the next official tentsite is eight miles away. Normally I’d go ahead and move on looking for level terrain but there is none ahead, so I’d rather not risk pushing on past 10:00 just because I can’t find a place to camp.
The morning was pretty easy terrain and good tree cover with a nice breeze. I couldn’t even tell I was hiking south. I left camp before the couple awoke so I didn’t see them again until after 4 PM, but mid morning the trail crossed another road with a trailhead so I saw four day hikers. The only other people I saw all day were a southbound couple late in the day. I’m not sure if they were through hikers or not. I didn’t get a chance to talk to them very much.
After crossing the road, the trail climbed again and got rockier and rockier as it rose. By the time the trail crested the peak and went to the other side, it was pretty much all rocks. A few miles later the trail began to traverse Russian Peak and by then it was all rock and a burn area with nothing but dead trees. At 5 PM with a breeze, it was actually cool instead of smoking hot. But it was ugly.
The lake I stopped at is pretty high in elevation and buts up to a peak that is crumbling rock into it. It’s a nice lake and I can see a trail going all around it and other campers on the other side. I know it’s not the couple I camped with last night, but I don’t know who it is.
Just six miles ahead is another road that will lead into the town of Etna. It’s eight or ten miles to town and it looks like a road so small it would have no traffic on it and be impossible to hitch. I have enough food,.so I do t need to stop, and I definitely don’t need to waste time in a town again. I will skip Etna again.
I am currently 62 miles from Seiad Valley, which is and odd distance. It would be nice to get there in two days, but it’s just a little to far to make in two days and get there at a decent time. You don’t want to roll into a town after everything is already closed. I doubt I’ll be able to knock off two thirties, so I’ll probably do just shy of thirty tomorrow and twenty five the next day to leave a quick eight to ten to roll into town early, get my chores done, and get back to the trail. It’s a monster climb out of town, so I hope it’s not hot. We will find out in due time.
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