Day 61: Long Summer Days

Mile reached: 1195.4 (+26.9)

High: Ordering dinner at the general store just minutes before they closed. Also, since they were out of fries they gave me onion rings instead.

Low: The afternoon was hot.

Days without snow: 0

This was another rare morning in which I got on trail early. In fact, I was on trail shortly after sunrise. The motivation was twofold. Namely, I expected it to get hot by midday, and I wanted to get to Sierra City before the store closed.

The morning was beautiful, and a substantial wind whipped across the ridges keeping me cool. Some of the ridges were forested, but many others had wide open views with wildflowers in the foreground and lakes or distant peaks in the background. Of particular interest, I could see the very tip of Mount Lassen, the most southerly of the Cascade volcanoes.

The trail also repeatedly crossed both dirt and paved forest service roads. By lunchtime I had even descended into a valley with a lake and developed campground. Unlike the High Sierra the mountains here were no longer remote.

About a mile out from the highway, I rounded a corner and startled someone dunking their head in a small creek. It turned out to be Leanne! She had flip-flopped up to the Oregon border and hiked south rather than risk the Sierra in spring. We briefly caught up, and she gave me the heads up on who was ahead. In fact, she had camped with “Poseidon” last night. Perplexingly, she had not run into “Gandalf” though.

I got to the Sierra City Country store with enough time to claim my packages. In part because I had been fortunate enough to score a ride down with some dayhikers.

As I arrived, there were two Australian girls on the patio arguing heatedly with Amazon customer service over the phone. One of them explained that they’d been at this for a while. FedEx did not deliver their package on time, but Amazon could not change the delivery address. So, I suggested that they cancel the order and have a new order sent to Truckee instead. They both looked at me like I were a moron, but the customer service person heard me and said, “I can do that.” Problem solved. They thanked me but proceeded to rant about how stupid the US is.

The lot of thru-hikers, a mixture of NoBos and flip-floppers, were all camping in the local church parking lot. The site was aggressively sloped, but I found a passable spot to sleep.

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