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.
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.