Today was so lazy. The terrain just before Seiad Valley meant there were no campsites between 23 and 30 miles. A 30 miler was unnecessary given town was only another 6.5, so we decided on an easy 23. We took it easy, with long breaks and a lunchtime nap. The smoke was thinner towards the peak of the hill and for some of the day we had views upwards although we still couldn’t see across the valley.
The trail was relatively open, with no shade from the trees but rather plenty of dry grasses and vegetation. There were crickets and grasshoppers everywhere, making noises like tasers when they fly. After 5 miles we came upon an old abandoned ranger cabin where we stopped for a break. A day hiker with his dog told us the water sources towards Paradise Lake were dry and we should take as much water as we needed from the creek nearby. A quick check of the water report showed he was sort of correct, the next 5-6 miles were dry. But that’s normal for us, and we would ordinarily hike around 10 miles between sources.
At the end of the day we began the descent into Seiad Valley. It’s a long downhill which just means a giant hill to climb out of town with a full resupply. The trail has been along the side of the hills and the only places to camp are where it crosses the dirt roads maintained by the forest service. We managed to find a site slightly away from the road with a nearby creek, but it is mosquito hell and I took refuge in the tent before long. Hopefully I wasn’t bitten too badly before I got in! I’ll find out in the morning, I guess.
Camping: Mile 1648