Twig Adventures

PCBCRT Day 34 & 35: Seiad Valley Vortex

Monday, Aug 7th to Tuesday Aug 8th, 2023
Double Zero

I didn’t plan to double zero in Seiad Valley, I didn’t even plan to zero at all. Truth be told, there wasn’t much going on in the town. Last time it was only worthy of an in-and-out. But the RV park had good wifi and a comfortable porch, so I was able to get some work done. Aside from the monumental task of keeping up with this blog, I needed to send some texts, emails, update socials, and most importantly, order new shoes. I bought a pair on Ebay for $65 total, which was actually a bit more than I normally paid for them. I had several pairs at home but didn’t want to bother my partner with more shipping requests…he’d already sent stuff to Crescent City and Seiad Valley. I saved a lot of money buying “used” shoes on Ebay. After over 15 pairs, I knew every stage of tread wear on the Altra Superiors. I could tell when the shoes were basically brand new, as in someone tried them on once, they didn’t fit, and returned them. There’s a huge market for reselling these types of shoes on Ebay.

Back on the PCT

I got so immersed in my tasks that I didn’t notice the clock creep right up to 1:30 pm. I intended to go for brunch at the diner, now here I was almost missing it again. I walked in just 10 minutes before closing and Heather once again served me. At least I got to chat with her a little after it died down, plus meet her boyfriend. He made a smoothie and gave me the leftovers, so I guess it worked out well for me. I bought a few items at the general store and raided their hiker box, which had some decent snacks. The owner threw expired things in from time to time. I hated to add more weight to my already heavy pack. I envied so many of the PCT hikers with their tiny packs and 2 or 3 day food carries. I was toting almost 6 days but was still light on lunch items. The upcoming leg was about 130 miles, but there was a resort along the way that sold a few snacks. I hoped to be able to boost my supply there.

The beer I had outside the cafe…this was the same brewery I went to with Sarah in Crescent City. The picture seemed appropriate for the Bigfoot Trail.

The heat was oppressive, in the high 90s, and of course the Bigfoot Trail joined the one part of the PCT with the longest road walk. Having already walked it once, I wasn’t against getting a ride. Just my luck, there was a trail angel offering them just at the perfect time. I actually only skipped 2 miles, since I had Grandma Bubs drop me at a trail angel’s place. I’d heard about Brian from the very first hikers I met once I joined the PCT, so I had to at least stop to say hi. Boy did I feel guilty about getting a ride to arrive there…in my game book, that’s a big no no. But it was only two miles…blame it on the heat. Brian’s place already had a good collection of hikers sitting on the porch, along with him. He was from Colorado and had only been at his beautiful cabin for less than a year. Ironically, his place sat just a quarter mile past the PCT SOBO 1000 mile mark…what a perfect opportunity to celebrate such a milestone!

His adorable Australian shepherd\poodle Nova greeted me (and everyone) with her guard dog bluff, then quickly melted into a sweetheart. Brian had a well stocked mini fridge on the porch, hikerbox, chairs galore, and all the hospitality of a newly-hatched trail angel. Seiad valley had gotten so much better since last I passed through! My plan had been to drink a soda or beer, then walk another 4 miles on the road to the campground, so I could get an early start on the climb the next morning. It wasn’t long before I was invited to dinner and to sleep in a bed up in the loft. How could I pass on that? It was just Brian, me and an injured hiker, Jet, for dinner. I helped make some potatoes, which actually turned out really good. Jordan from France arrived just in time to demolish the leftovers, and reported that there was a bear in the river. We walked down to see it, and sure enough, there it was, foraging. We watched it for a few minutes before it finally noticed us and slunk away. It was my second bear this trip.

The night wasn’t over. Spliffy from the Czech Republic rolled in well past dark. Brian had a motion detector in his driveway and the ding always sent Luna into a frenzy. He thought it must be the bear but I could see the headlamp beam…just a hiker. Brian said it was unusual to have someone come so late but Spliffy was a unique and entertaining character, marching to his own beat. They stayed up late laughing and drinking, while Jet and I retired to the loft for a great night’s sleep.

Me, Brian, Jet, Jordan, and Spliffy

Day 2: I woke early, prepared to start hiking, but I kind of just melted back into the bed. The vortex had taken hold. I felt like I was taking advantage of Brian’s hospitality but also relished the idea of letting my body rest more, plus finish work on the blog. Also, the forecast predicted a high of 98. I vowed to clean or organize something later, just to earn my keep. I washed some dishes was all. The rest of the day was spent lounging and greeting hikers as they came and went. Jordan finally escaped the vortex late in the day, but Spliffy stayed for another night. Three new hikers arrived to cowboy camp on the porch. I enjoyed talking to 2 women closer to my age, Frogma and Cookie.

What a laid-back guy Brian was to allow, rather invite, all us hikers to invade his beautiful space in the woods. It blew my mind how people could be so open and giving. I especially loved seeing the reactions from European hikers…they saw Americans as the friendliest people in the world, which I used to think was mostly reserved for the Kiwis. It made me so proud. A huge thanks to Brian for providing his space of refuge in celebration of hikers. It generated so much love and appreciation.

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