The total climb out of Seiad Valley is about 5500 feet. We were able to chop some of that into chunks by doing 5 miles last night but that still left about 2500 feet to climb this morning. We packed up camp, after cowboy camping for Smiles’ (I am just going with it for Marissa’s trail name) first time, and we were on the trail about 7:30am. We stopped at a spring in a little over a mile to fill up on water, which took forever as the spring was flowing at barely a trickle. After leaving the spring we resumed the climb, taking a break at the 5ish mile mark from camp. During the break I put my solar panel on a bush in the sun while we sat in the shade. I only mention that because after we left our Brel spot and had gone somewhere around a half a mile I realized I forgot to grab the solar panel. Ugh.
I ran (literally) back and grabbed it and hen walked back to my pack. Pie and Smiles hiked on so I knew I had a solo afternoon from that point. I fired up my podcasts and eventually got into a pretty solid groove. So solid, in fact, that I eventually came up on the others taking a quick break just 2 miles from our planned lunch spot. Smiles said to me, “We missed you and we got hungry so we took a break for a pre-lunch snack. Do you want to sit for a bit?” To which I replied, “I do not, my feet are in a groove and I will meet you at lunch.” And off I went.
We got to lunch a little before 1:30pm and took a good long break. We started packing up around 3pm and didn’t end up leaving until about 3:45pm after filling up on water from a nearby spring and snapping some pics of a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake that wandered into the road area where we took lunch.
The rest of the afternoon was much easier than the morning as we just had a little elevation up and down to contend with. We did get about 20 minutes of rain in the afternoon though. It was quite strange as the morning was all clear and then some clouds started to roll in at lunchtime, then they dropped a few sprinkles on us and by the time we got to tonight’s camp they had cleared again.
Tomorrow, we have another set of unpaved roads to reach for camp. There is one at 19 miles and another at 22 miles. Ideally, for a better set up to reach Ashland sooner the next day, we would make it to the latter road but we will see how the day goes.