With 14.5 miles to go to get to Seiad Valley we wanted to get an earlier start than usual. We woke up at 6am instead of our normal 7am to get out an hour earlier. Our hike into town was almost entirely downhill which sped things up some but we did have to dodge some mudslides and washouts along the way due to the fire from last year. We even had to take some detours to cross Grider Creek 2 of the 4 times that we crossed it because the fire burned out the bridges. By about 10:30am we reached the Grider Creek campground where we took a break on a picnic table, uses the outhouse, and contemplated the coming road walk.
From the campground, we had a 2.5 mile walk on an unpaved road, then 2.5 miles on paved Grider Road, and finally 1.5 miles on Highway 96 into town. We knocked out the unpaved road portion and about a mile into the Grider Road section we saw a beautiful silver 4Runner pull up to greet us. My parents were already in town and found us on the road. We threw our packs in the car and were able to road walk the remaining distance, roughly 3 miles, into Seiad Valley.
When we got into town my parents already had a table for us at the cafe where the first order of business was milk shakes and lunch. After eating we went outside to the picnic tables in the shade, where we hung out with some fellow hikers and my parents until about 4pm when my parents had to hit the road so they could get home at a reasonable hour for my dad to get to bed for work in the morning. It’s a real bummer that his vacation is over and he won’t be able to come to Ashland with us but I am very greatful that our being in their area coincided with vacation at all and we were able to see him as much as we did. We still have one more stop with my mom, who will join us in Ashland with my aunt Veronica. The plan is to take a zero and get a cabin for the 5 of us there to enjoy our last day with Marissa as she will be leaving us in Ashland. We’ve got 3 more trail days and a day in town left with her so we better make it count. She hasn’t picked up a trail name yet, although I told her this morning when we were hiking that I think her name should be “Smiles” because whenever I look back at her when we are hiking she always throws a big toothy smile at me. She is totes adorbs. Also, if you look at every picture she is in from the last couple picture drops you’ll see said toothy grin. Just my 2 cents on the trail name.