Destination: Sierra City
Miles: 7 (plus 1.5 road walk)
Cumulative Miles: 1164
We woke before the alarm this morning, as if our bodies were telling us that we were only a few miles away from a shower, a few hours from "real" food, a few switchbacks from a well deserved break from our constant migration. After our morning breakfast, we set down the hill. As we descended the hill, we watched the rising sun cast golden illumination on the hills across the valley. The shadows crept slowly down the distant hillside slowly out pacing us on the race to the valley floor.
The seven mile descent of roughly 2500 feet took us past the south side of the Sierra Buttes, magnificent rock towers reaching skyward while crumbling over time downward. The rocks scattering endlessly across the trail, leaving what looked like petrified splintered wood shards to walk across, clinking in the familiar glassy tones.
Halfway down, we ran into a large collective of northbound thru-hikers. Passing useful information to the 12 of them, in exchange for their own notes on our trail ahead, it was nice to catch up with some old friends, if even only for a brief moment. To date, we have passed 25 hikers who went north all the way, some 200 miles ahead of us, some only 30 in this 2600 mile journey.
We dropped off the rocky slopes into the shade of the forest, just as the heat of the day picked up. The pines offered adequate shade through the countless switchbacks down to the Yuba River valley, where we walked the 1.5 miles down the highway to Sierra City (as we were unlucky in hitching to town).
We ran into Darko and Passant, a couple we had briefly hiked with in Southern California. While talking with them, Old Scout walked up and told us that we were free to shower at the Red Moose Cafe, an Inn that is not yet open, but offers up services to hikers while it is in it's state of restoration. Despite the fact that we are not staying there, the proprietor let us use the shower, and provided us with gatorade. She even offered to feed us, but we already had our eyes on the menu across the street. We plan on staying at the cafe tomorrow. We would have stayed there tonight, but we were tied to a reservation at another hotel.
While waiting outside the laundromat for our clothes to wash, Psycho picked up the resupply at the post office. Waiting there was a care package from Adrienne and Barbara, two former coworkers of his. Excitedly, we opened the package which "rocked our world" with chocolate, liquor, toilet paper, wet wipes, bug deterrents, game books, and other fun and tasty delights. (Thank you very much Adrienne and Barbara).
Sitting on the porch to the general store while the laundry dried, Apricots sat on a bench too high for her. Feet swinging back and forth under her, she consumed a popsicle to quell the heat of the day.
Sierra City's lodging was booked for a bike race, so we booked a room at the neighboring town of Calpine. After arriving at 3pm, we found the lodge "closed." Old Scout rustled up some service, and we checked into the sort of hotel that leaves you with a creepy feeling of little kids on "Big Wheels" and elevators that "gush" blood.
Dinner was mediocre at best. The room was small, poorly ventilated, and quaint at best. However, our bodies needed the rest, and the bed provided what we needed. Tomorrow we'll return to Sierra City for a better restful experience.
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