Day 118 7-21-07 Tarp Tent 5250′
Seiad Valley – Saddle past Darkey Creek Trail
7.3 miles; 1669.4 (59.36) total miles; 3531.6 trip miles
High 80-90, sunny with some clouds
Deer count is 98
Marmot count is 51
Bear count is 6
Rattlesnake count is 6
Pika count is 2
Last night I slept great. The hay the people at the RV Park put down for us was soft. I tried to sleep in, but the flies woke me up around 6:30. I worked on yesterdays journal, then once the diner opened, I went for breakfast. I had 1 pancake and 4 pieces of sausage. You say only one pancake; surely he must have had more than one. The pancake filled the whole plate, and it was no little plate. Seiad Valley is home to the pancake challenge where you have to eat 5 of the pancakes I had. Each one weighs about a pound.
I spent the rest of the day hanging out waiting for the PO to open. It didn’t open until 12. The flies were too bad at the RV Park, so I hung out in front of the PO. The flies found me there, too. A nice woman gave me an apple while we waited for the PO to open. Once the PO opened, I went right in. I showed my ID and the guy went to get my packages. He came back with zero! I was expecting at least 4 maybe a 5th one. He looked again and nothing. I was pissed and still am. All I can think is the local fires delayed my stuff. These means I got no food, no new shoes to replace my hole ridden others, no smaller pack, and possibly no warm sleeping bag. I gave a forwarding address, which is halfway through the next state 150+ miles away. I then had to go through my extra food I came into town with and figure out what I had to buy to get to Ashland, OR 65 miles away.
I made things work with what I found at the small general store and then had a pint of ice cream for lunch. During all my running around, I missed getting lunch at the diner before it closed. Silver and Backtrack showed up before the PO opened and we watched a movie while we waiting for the temperature to drop before tackling the 8.1 mile climb that gained 4500′. I left around 5 PM and started the road walk to the trail. Once to the trail, it went up and it was steep. I got to Fern Spring at 5:37 and got my hat wet to try and cool myself down. I was already soaked with sweat. By 6:30 I was getting hungry and came to a saddle, where I decided to cook. I had EZ-Mac and Cheese (made for microwaves) and a Ramen Noodle.
As I was packing up, Silver and Backtrack showed up. Backtrack actually scared the crap out of me. We hiked on and took one break before reaching Lookout Spring. We all filled up and made our way up to finish the climb. Just a small ways past the spring, we finally started to traverse and the hiking got easier. At a saddle between Lower and Middle Devils Peaks, we had some incredible views. Silver and Backtrack were ahead of me and when I got to Darkey Creek Trail, they had found a flat spot and were stopping for the night. I looked around and found a spot too; but when I tried to put up my tarp, I realized it wasn’t going to fit. I packed up and moved on to my current spot on a saddle just up the way. It less windy here so it’s a nicer spot. It was super windy back where they stopped.
On a scale of 1 to 10 today was about a 3.5. The PO thing really sucks, but it’s been dealt with the best it can. I also wish I got more miles in, but Canada isn’t going anywhere. If I do a 28 or so tomorrow, I will be sleeping in Oregon!
Scatman 2011- Talk about a crap day. Flies, heat, hills and no packages. I can compare it to waking up on Christmas Day and finding no presents under the tree. You hike all week and all you think about is getting those packages at the PO. Maybe your mom packed baked goods or some other special treat. Then you get there and they have nothing. It’s a mental blow. You’re not expecting to have to figure out a shopping list or how to get just a small roll of TP over carrying a full roll you don’t need or have the room for. You really do have to start the whole process which you already did at the last town all over again.
When you’re in town you plan the next mail drop so it’s waiting for you. You go through all the lists and figure out meals, maps, TP, water treatment and the list goes on and on. Some times you plan two mail drops ahead because of some remote areas take longer to ship to. So when you get to town and you’re all prepare to plan the next mail drop and you have to turn your mental process back a week it messes you all up. If I haven’t said it logistics are the hardest part of any adventure like this one.
Get out there!