Daily miles – 11
Total miles – 1658
Warm night at our campsite last night…. Low elevations are like that. We got a mellow start out, not leaving our campsite till close to 8am. We had no hurry, as the restaurant would be open for several hours, the PO office was not open in town till noon, and we were not planning to hike out of town till late afternoon. Just a nero to do today.
With just 6 road walking miles into Seiad Valley, it did not take long to cover the miles. It was pleasant enough even though we were on blacktop for much of the walk. Fortunately, there were some wild blackberry bushes lining the road, so we enjoyed the few ripe berries that we could find as we walked in. Arriving at about 10am, we headed straight for the lone cafe in town and got in line.
The little place was crawling with hikers and the backpacks lined up outside the door showed their presence. The day being a Saturday also had some trafficking from travelers driving through and some locals. The food at the cafe turned out out to be excellent. Sweetpea was able to get gluten free pancakes made with blackberries and they were excellent. Beardoh and Mountain Man both had omelets that were great as well. We saw a plate of pancakes that were part of the infamous pancake challenge. It was a giant stack (5lbs of pancakes is the challenge) and it looked barely touched when the contestant gave up.
After breakfast, we headed over to the RV Park where we had our boxes and began the normal town errands of laundry, resupply organization, and showers. Beardoh also mailed the Chaco Sandles that he had tried in the previous stretch back home as they were going to be too difficult to transition to mid hike.
We headed back to the cafe for lunch right before they closed at 2pm and got filled up again. Probably too much. Actually, definitely too much. Both Mountain Man and Beardoh had gut aches for the rest of the day. It is a hard lesson to learn, especially on the trail. And especially when the food is so good. The cafe is run by a mom and her two adult daughters and they do a great job with the food and service. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching the Olympics, specifically the Men’s basketball game where they beat China by more than 40 points.
The town is interesting in that there are a lot of signs that are part of the State of Jefferson movement which is an effort to create a separate state up here. There is also a lot of signage around saying ‘No Monument’ in effort to stop the federal government’s effort to create a National Monument in the area. Besides that stuff, Seiad Valley feels a touch run down… We’ll, more than a touch. Kind of forgotten and as if it is headed towards ghost town status. Maybe there is a part of it that we didn’t see, but we were on main street. It is one of those places that is lucky it is not in a humid, wet climate, or everything would have just rotted and collapsed.
Around 5pm, we headed out to the trail and began the long and steep climb up and out of the valley. We wanted to get just a few miles in, and that we did… Right around 4 miles from town there was a camp spot on a saddle that works for Mountain Man and trees that work for our hammocks. Unfortunately, we are on a steep slope where the hammocks are. Beardoh measured the angle with a tool on his phone and it read the slope at just over 31 degrees. Not something we want to repeat too many times, especially when the slope is filled with slippery pine needles.