Day 106: Etna!

We were quite excited to get to town with just 19 miles to go. Our damp tents didn’t phase us this morning as we were packed up and ready to hike by 7:15am, our earliest start this stretch.

We were hoping to get to the road before 5 pm to be able to get into town and have a nice dinner with my parents and relax. We took our first break after a littler over 4 miles at a spring junction to eat a snack. We didn’t linger long and were at our lunch spot just over 6 miles down the trail by 11am. We decided at this point that we were going to shorten our usual breaks and just take a break every 5ish miles to get into town at a reasonable time. So, after a quick break we were back on the trail.

Our hike today included a few climbs and descents throughout the day so it was going to be no small feat to get to the road by 5pm. Fortunately, we had a good start in the morning and by reaching our lunch spot by 11am we were ahead of pace. We left that second stream pretty quick with hopes of reaching our next break spot by 1 pm. We had a small climb and then a little drop and got to our next stream at just over 5 miles just before 1pm. We figured that if we could leave this spot by 2pm we could make it to the road by 4pm, ahead of schedule.

We did just that, leaving camp by about 2:15pm and we climbed immediately after the break and then dropping down to the road. We made it to the road about 4:15pm, which was perfect as my parents were waiting for us when we got down there. As each of us reached the clearing on the ridge we could see them at the car down below, which is a great motivating factor.

After piling in the car we went back to the motel in town, after a brief milkshake detour, to grab showers and start packing our pals for the next leg. After a couple hours of these activities we headed over to the Etna Brewing Co. for some good beers and food. Once we were good and full we then hit the market for a few provisions for the trail and a couple more brew-ja-jers and went back to the motel. Upon arrival we began playing some seriously heated hands of crazy 8s while drinking said brew-ja-jers for a couple of hours, before eventually turning in to our respective rooms. What a great day.

Godspeed.

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