Twig Adventures

Day 54: Deadfall lake

August 28th, 2018 Mm 1552 to mm 1521 Distance: 31 miles 0620-1830 The trail stayed relatively level today, which meant that it had to meander along all the contours of the mountains. It has been doing a huge dogleg to the north, which kind of unsettled me. I hiked fast all morning just to get past the part that was going the wrong way. At least there were some really nice views on the long traverses. The wind had shifted and the smoke was mostly being blown to the SE. I came to a paved road around 11 am and got cell reception. Plants had texted me to warn of a new fire closure of the trail right after our[…]

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Day 53: A bear

August 27th, 2018 Scott River mm 1579 to mm 1552 Distance: 27 miles 0620-1800 The day dawned so clear, there was only a hint of smoke in the distance. Good thing too, as the views were great. I finally got to see Mt Shasta. The Kid and I were stopped at a spring in the morning when we both saw a bear walk across the meadow below. It was the first bear I have seen from the trail. It’s the kind of sighting that is great for both you and the wildlife…at that distance, neither party is scared. Salamanders are fun close up but large mammals are best viewed at a distance. The trail traversed many open ridges and valleys.[…]

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Day 52: Slimy Salamanders

August 26th, 2018 Etna Road mm 1599.5 to Scott River mm 1579 Distance: 20.5 miles 0900-1800 It was tough getting out of bed after the late night. I of course woke up early but tried to sleep in a bit. It didn’t work so well. Watermelon and I arranged a ride back to the trailhead with the hostel’s proprietor. He shuttles hikers for $5 a person. Twist just happened to also be looking for a ride as we were leaving, so that worked out well. At the trailhead, we saw the German twins Hans and Frans I was reluctant to start climbing up the trail again but I walked with Twist and we chatted the day away. She is one[…]

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Day 51: Etna

August 25th, 2018 Marble Valley cabin mm 1623.5 to Etna Road mm 1599.5 Distance: 24 miles 0600-1500 Today was about the oddest of combination of events, a mix of great trail and town shenanigans. I was in the mood to have a little fun, but more about that later. The trail did not disappoint, with alpine lakes, switchbacks and a rollercoaster of a day. Perhaps one of the highlights was coming to Martin pond, which should have been named Salamander pond. It was choc-a-block with these red bellied salamanders, which I still haven’t positively identified. I caught one in Oregon and couldn’t resist catching (and then releasing) one from this pond. I discovered that I could lure them over to[…]

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Day 50: The next thousand

August 24th, 2018 Grider Creek campground mm 1649.5 to Marble Valley Cabin mm 1623.5 Distance: 26 miles 0600-1730 I woke early and found Flowers and the Kid also packing up. I wished the Kid happy birthday and gave him the only present I could…the best oatmeal bar from my food bag, a peach Bobo. He ate it on the spot. He’s a sweet guy, so I wished I had gotten him something better. His lack of age has been a fun topic for awhile. We have made lots of lewd comments and joked about how half the stuff we do in front of him would land us in jail. But not anymore, he is a man now (except that he[…]

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Day 49: The State of Jefferson

August 23rd, 2018 Mm 1660.5 to Grider Creek campground mm 1649.5, via Seiad Valley. Distance: 11 miles 0600-1830 Today was one of the best, easiest days. I packed very early and was in town by 0730 am. On the way, I walked with Dahn on a short road section and we reminisced about all the road walking on the TA. Good memories, all. Dahn is the first person to say that the TA has been his favorite, even over the AT and PCT. I concur, but the PCT has been pretty special, too. The town of Seiad consisted of the post office, general store, and a greasy-spoon cafe. The ‘trail’ passes right through it all. The ‘State of Jefferson’ was[…]

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Day 48: Smoke

August 22nd, 2018 Donomore cabin mm 1691 to mm 1660.5 Distance: 30.5 miles 0700-1930 I was so comfortable on the cot that I slept soundly the whole night. I also slept on my inflated sleeping pad, because as I found out in the yurt on the Colorado Trail, it gets cold underneath. Unfortunately this made my normal movements in the night a bit noisy, which apparently kept poor Plants up all night. He said I was also talking in my sleep, which I don’t doubt. He made sure to remind me of his lack of sleep all day. Well, what can I say? Might I suggest some earplugs? I’ve got lots of experience sleeping in communal spaces, so I always[…]

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Day 47: California

August 21st, 2018 Mm 1718.5 to Donomore Cabin mm 1691 Distance: 28 miles 1000-2030 I got up early to finish all the little details that I didn’t get to the day before. Then I said goodby to Ana and Chanty dropped me off at the Starbucks downtown. It was a couple blocks to the post office from there and I arrived just in time for the opening. Then I went to Ruby’s for a breakfast burrito. I met Plants there, as previosly arranged. He had been in town for the past 2 days but staying with his girlfriend. I hadn’t seen him since White Pass but we had kept in touch. He had offered to give me a ride back[…]

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Day 46: Ashland

August 19th, 2018 Zero in Ashland Distance: about 5 miles walking around town Ashland turned out to be SOBO central. I have not seen such a large collection since Harts Pass. Early in the morning, a circle formed around my tent. First, the Kid and Bunky rolled in…the latter I hadn’t seen since Harts Pass. It was fitting that he was with the Kid, since he is only 20 himself. Another guy named Roadrunner was there too. We told stories while I made breakfast and coffee. They were waiting until the bottomless pancake breakfast opened at the restaurant. Potter, Salty, Blue Bear and Columbus also came by and quickly got a ride into town. I packed up and went out[…]

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Day 45: Almost there

August 19th, 2018 Mm 1748.5 to mm 1718.5 (Ashland) Distance: 30 miles 0620-1730 I heard great horned owls in the morning, otherwise it was dead silent all night. I can’t believe how quiet these woods are…not even a cricket. The GH owls have such a refined and haunting call. I much prefer their hoots over the raucous barred owls that I hear most commonly. I’m an owlist, I admit it. The trail made quite a transition today. From the dense coniferous forests of OR and WA, I started to see a lot of scrub oak and deciduous trees mixed in. There were also many meadows of high grass interspersed. Despite the trail going up and down all the rolling hills,[…]

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