Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Days 97 - 100: All Aboard The Love Train

Recipe for an incredible trail dinner:
1. Lots of foil
2. Veggies: potatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus
3. Brats and kielbasa
4. Butter
5. Bananas
6. Marshmallows and chocolate
7.  A 5 liter bag of wine
8. Twelve special hiker friends

-Mix veggies, butter and meats in foil. Put in fire.
-Cut bananas down middle. Leave in peel. Stuff with marshmallows and chocolate. Wrap in foil, put in fire.
-Pass 10 lbs bag of wine around circle.  Be sure to slap bag after enjoying a little sipper directly from bag.
-Bask in the dynamite company of a dozen hiker friends.

The first night out of Etna, we pulled off a wonderful feat.  We planned and executed an epic trail dinner with twelve other hikers.  Each of us bought and carried one piece of the meal out 10 miles and it came together in a festive and packed campsite.  The beauty of the first night out of town is that you can carry fresh and refrigerated items to enjoy without worry of them going bad.  The evening was a total blast and it set us up for days of hiking with this big group that has since been dubbed The Love Train.

Our second day out of Etna, Trav and I pulled our first 30+ mile day! It was tough one. It wasn't flat, it wasn't well graded, it was really hot but we needed to break the threshold and we did. It felt pretty good (mentally, but a little rough physically).

The next day, The Love Train rolled into Seiad Valley, our last Califonia town.  We arrived at the Seiad Valley Cafe just in time for lunch as the sun beat down on a 104 degree day.  We sought solace from the heat in the cafe and at the shady picnic tables outside.  Seiad Valley is a tricky spot because on our way into the tiny town, we dropped nearly 5,000 feet and got lower than we've been the whole time, around 1,200 feet.  The climb out of Seiad Valley is dreaded and feared; you gain over 5,000 feet in 7 miles. In the heat, it can be brutal.  We made the decision early on to just camp at the RV park in town and wait until the early morning to do the climb.  The afternoon was spent with nearly 30 hikers waiting out the heat, drinking cold drinks and eating ice cream from the small store.

The next morning (our day 100!!) we climbed out of Seiad Valley starting at 5:30am.  Before we knew it, it was mid afternoon and we were chugging along.  We enjoyed a fire and a beautiful sky that night and felt giddy in anticipation about crossing the Oregon border the following morning.

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