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Archive for August 3rd, 2006

ZEROOOOO

Destination: Etna Summit
Starting Location: Etna Summit
Today’s Miles: 0.00
Trip Miles: 1607.40

Etna – Zero
Great day in Etna and a real rest.
Sugar Daddy, Pang & Swiss Miss got in late morning & decided to hike on today. This strategy was not ideal for me because it put me in the smoke zone for an extra day & night. So I decided to go tomorrow morning and push the 56 miles to Seiad Valley in two days. Rolling Thunder, Tadpole the hippo, & Sunny are doing the same.
We watched Life Aquatic & ate microwave popcorn. It was a significant diversion from hiking each day and the mental break was healthy. Distance hiking, while physical, is mostly a mental game and to be able to turn the focus off even for a few brief hours seems to have recharged me.
The atmospheric conditions have deteriorated some what with regard to fire behavior. These conditions provide a greater potential for the fires to expand. However, they have not done so and we are going through the recommended closure.
Section hikers Richard & Doodle Bug got in & we had a nice time comparing notes on trail conditions but more importantly getting caught up on our friends

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Destination: Etna Summit
Starting Location: Just past Bingham Lake outlet
Today’s Miles: 13.10
Trip Miles: 1607.40
Bingham Lake Outlet (1593.2, 6867) to Etna Summit (1606.3, 5960) ascent (2047) descent (3300)

Etna is a great town & it feels like I am in a time warp. A real soda shop in the drug store & when you get a milkshake you actually get a glass with the extra shake. I am sitting in the local diner and the local radio station has not played a country music song recorded after 1970. The really neat thing is that it looks like the town is thriving with all the old downtown buildings fully occupied and open for business. The truck to car ratio is 9.9 to 1, and as Merle Haggard said “cowboy boots are still in style”. I love this town.
Met Turbo & her dog heading south after she flipped around the Sierra. She was bummed that she had “fell for the hype” and flipped. Which reminds me, I owe Scott Williamson a big debt of gratitude. Two days before Kennedy Meadows, when I was so apprehensive about the Sierra, I saw Scott & asked him his opinion. I appreciated what he said because the message was: form your own opinion & do not listen to the hype regardless of the source. He went on to recommend that we try it as “you can always turn around”. How right he was. As Turbo & I discussed she commented that she wished she had heard & followed such wise counsel. Instead she flipped to Old Station as suggested by some of the experts & this provided absolutely no advantages.
Mom said she was up for eating Mexican food and thus she clearly made it through her first chemo-nausea cycle. She is planning on coming to Seiad Valley in a few days to see us off into Oregon.
Staying at the Alderbrook Manor Bed & Breakfast. They have a separate hiker hut that sleeps 6 & for $20 you get a bed, shower, laundry facilities,& internet. The proprietors, Vicki & Dave are wonderful hosts and I have decided to take a real 100% zero day.
The trail is officially closed between Etna & Seiad Valley due to 4 fires burning on the Klamath Forest. That said, we have been told the trail is not burning and “while not advisable” we will not be stopped if we proceed. We proceed – unless the situation deteriorates to a more unsafe level.
I have been contemplating my strategy going forward & I am torn. The group is the best but going my own way is feeling very liberating & offers some logistical advantages. I think I will do a combination going forward where as I will stay close to the team but set a schedule more to my liking. Sunny, Tadpole the hippo, & Rolling Thunder are looking at an Oregon strategy that works for me, so maybe I will hand with them for a bit & see what happens. They hike much faster than me but at the end of the day I do the same miles.

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Destination: Etna
Starting Location: Etna
Today’s Miles: 0.00
Trip Miles: 1607.40

Hello everyone, go-BIG here. In Etna, CA with a fire closure. Deciding what to do. Skipping is a very unatractive option so if conditions are safe, I will likley proceed. In the meantime I am eating milkshakes…two so far.
I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support. Your warm wishes are wonderful inspiration. If you have not signed my guest book please do so as I would love to hear from you. Liz prints them out for me and I read them along the trail…it is great.
Hike on. Oh yea, the photo Sheri labeled as a rattle snake looks a lot like a gopher snake to be…yes I do know the diference, but my sister… well that is a diferent story.

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