Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Seiad Valley to Oregon/CA border. August 27 miles 1700

This past weekend we met Bouncer in Seiad Valley.  A forest fire was threatening  to have the small town evacuated.  The town was celebrating its annual Seiad Valley Day- the only fund raiser for the small community.  While the band played that night the fires lit up the ridge above town creating a beautiful scene.
Lack of cel service and a faulty starter in the RV led to the first day's plans getting cancelled.  We were not at the Paradise Lake trailhead at the appointed time.  Bouncer and AsUWish waited for 3 hours and ended up back in Etna- and then taking a hitch to Yreka and a bus to Seiad Valley.  We made it up to the trailhead by 9:30 pm- 6 hours late and no sign of Bouncer.  We did have a bear run across the road in front of  our vehicle.  We left for Seiad Valley next morning thinking he had kept hiking south.
 We waited at the trailhead in Seiad Valley for most of the day and greeted our new hiking family as they came down the trail.  Typo was already at the cafe finishing up his milkshake.   We met Chef and Pocohantas as they were walking to town. They told us that Bouncer was planning to stay at Paradise Lake last night. Sitting in the shade were Safari, I'm Fine and Fire(?) .  Two got a hitch into town and I'm Fine insists on walking every inch of the way- be it on trail or on road.
Our friends Neon and OnaMove were next.  " Oh yes, Bouncer is at Paradise Lake waiting for you". They waited for a hitch and then came back and asked for a ride.   Next one down the trail was Astro.I did not know him but had followed his blog. Yes, he would love a ride to town.  Off went Maks again on the 6 mile road to town.No sooner did Maks leave than another 3 hikers appeared.  Two section hikers and Listener who is from Deland FL- the town where Maks and I were married.     We kept waiting for Bouncer to show up- but the threesome that just came down the trail had camped up at Paradise Lake and never saw Bouncer there. We started to worry at this point. 
As Maks drives Astro in to town there is Bouncer walking up the road towards him.  Reunited at last. So Astro gets dropped off and we pick up AsUWish and we are all together again.  Maks takes the last 3 hikers to town and  comes back for us.  Back up that long road we go up the Scott River and we camp at a campground 7 miles from Paradise Lake trailhead.  Next morning we deliver AsUWish and Bouncer to the trail- take a few pictures and off they go.  We get back in the rig and turn the key and there's no response.  The starter has died.  We are 33 miles from anywhere and no cel phone service - I prayed- Maks wanted to cry.  We waited an hour.  Then Maks crawled under the engine and whacked the starter with the blunt end of an ax and we had ignition.  Wahoo.
Back to Seiad Valley again and the trailhead-  we waited all day and  were happy to see Mike (Orny) and Jesse- two of the Canadians we knew from the McCloud trip.  They got a ride in Maks' taxi.   Once Maks got back he hiked up the trail and returned with our hikers.  We drove into town expecting to have a steak dinner as part of Seiad Valley Day but all the food was gone by then except for ice cream and potato chips- so once again we had hot dogs and beans.  We had a wonderful evening with the Canadians and the band was right there playing until midnight and the locals drinking beer and with the forest fire it was all lovely.  Just as we pulled in to town we were in time to see Storytime, Flower and Flatlander leaving for a ride up to the pass so we had a quick hug for Storytime who we met on our first trip (Walker Pass), again at Sonora Pass and now this time.

Next morning we go up the pass- no the road is not closed yet and the firefighters are cutting the brush out trying to save the town.  We pick up Old Yeller from Texas and add him to the cargo.  He is hauling a 12 pack of beer on top of his pack.  We drop off the hikers and then back to the RV park to do laundry and clean up- then off we go to Jacksonville and follow the Applegate River and then Yellowjacket Ridge all the way up the dirt road to where we ourselves started our PCT journey 20 years ago.  We locate the spot- set up camp- interrupt Listener who is eating her dinner.   Flatlander and Flower hike past.  We expect Bouncer around 9pm.  but he shows up an hour early so stoked to be back in Oregon.  We drink champagne- hugs all around and have dinner in the RV as it is starting to get chilly at night.  Yeti comes in and sets up across the road.

Next morning we walk to the border and take lots of pictures.  And then it's time to say goodbye again.  It was all wonderful and we get so caught up with all of the hikers.  This group of 12-15 hikers seems to miss out on the trail magic that the main pack gets. They are so appreciative of any real food at this point. Anyone out there wanting to trail angel?

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Paul!
    Thank you Lib for the great pics and posts for Paul. Ya'll were meant to be Trail Angels!
    Love, Joyce