Destination: Seiad Valley/Ashland
Cumulative Miles: 1402
Today was about hitching. We woke, with no serious rush. After a leisurely breakfast we made a hike down the final 6.5 miles to Seiad Valley. It was all road walking, and most of that was along the Klamath River. Other than detours from the official PCT, this is the longest stretch of trail on road.
We made the whole hike without hitching, which is often a "draw" when road walking. But then again, we saw our first car when we had only one mile to go. Upon arriving at Seiad Valley we enjoyed a breakfast at the cafe and then showers at the RV park.
Close to noon we began our long efforts to hitch. We have already covered the leg from Seiad Valley to Ashland, one month ago, so we needed to find a way back to Ashland. We sat on the road next to a horse ranch, and waited several long hours before a car picked us up.
It was sad looking at the horses who stamped their feet and shook their heads to keep the flies at bay, but the flies were relentless. At times 100 or more sat across their long face, and we felt total pain and pity for them, knowing how annoying bugs in the face could be. Sadly these horses had no hands to beat away the flies, so they just stood there as the flies crawled into their eyes. It was so sad to watch.
Our ride finally arrived and drove us up the Klamath River to Interstate five, completing the first leg of our journey. We snacked for lunch at the rest stop where our ride left us, and then returned to the sweltering heat to hitch a ride up to Ashland. This wait was longer, but eventually we were picked up.
Our ride was another one of those roller coaster thrill seeking demon driven cars. Driving 80-90mph down the highway, we made it to Ashland in no time. We had the driver drop us at Callahans Lodge, a restaurant/lodge on the outskirts of town known for it's hospitality to hikers. We enjoyed a free beer (kindly given to all thru-hikers) with our dinner and retired to our tent which was strangely placed in the lawn outside the lodge, where all patio/porch diners could look down upon.
Tomorrow morning we'll head into Ashland for a few small errands and then return to the trail.
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