Miles: 0
Camping: A teepee in Etna

Since I had been offered a ride to pass some of the smoke, I would have to wait an extra day to leave Etna. I really don’t mind, as my feet will likely benefit from rest, and I really like this town. Ninja, Blisster and I rode bikes to a local restaurant and ate large portions of delicious breakfast. We drank loads of coffee and talked about fire strategy. They wanted to hike from Etna but I was set on moving around as much smoke as I could to the border. A ride to Seiad skips 55 smoky miles of trail that they are bravely walking. I salute their efforts to hike as much of the trail as possible, especially since the vast majority already hitched ahead to Oregon. I will be a day ahead of them, but plan to hike slow enough for them to catch up to me by the border. It’s a momentous occasion, better celebrated with friends.

We hung around the hostel a bit before they hiked out with Almost Awesome and Possum, a nice couple from Tennessee. The proprietress brought out a round of bloody mary’s as we discussed all matter of entertaining subjects. The laughter and relaxation were beneficial for all of us, but I was soon saying goodbye to all of them. My trail angel Jen, didn’t get home for a few more hours, so I had to find a way to entertain myself in that time alone. I grabbed a heavy book that I’d been sucked into (“Solar,” by Ian McEwan) and headed to the brew pub. I sat on their patio for 3 hours sipping a couple of pints and eating a cheeseburger while reading my new book. It’s only a few days of carrying the extra weight, and I’m already hooked on it. Ian McEwan is one of my favorite authors.

Switch met up with me at the pub, and soon we walked to Jen’s house. She set us up in a big teepee style tent in the yard, with mattresses even! We relaxed for a little while under her fruit trees with the dog and cat, but decided to call it a night at hiker midnight. I’m going to read more of this book for a bit, and tomorrow I will continue my walk from Seiad Valley. I’m quite happy with this arrangement.

Until then…

Possum,Blisster, Dust Bunny, Ninja and Almost Awesome with our delicious bloody marys