Day 102: Etna

August 13th
Today’s miles: 20
My total mileage: 1435
PCT mile 1608
PCT-Section-Q_1608

While peeing off the side of the trail, the wind picked up. Squeeze Me Biscuits turned to avoid hitting himself and his trekking pole went over the edge, ehehe.

I convinced Squeeze Me Biscuits into dropping into Etna for a 4 hour break. I promised him we’d return to the trail that afternoon, and by Jove, we did. Thanks to Chris who treated us to several rounds of the blackberry blonde at the Brewery! And also big thanks to Susie and Tim for giving us rides to and from the trailhead! That was Squeeze Me Biscuit’s first hitchhiking experience! We ended up hiking 11 more miles, long into the dark. It was worth it!

I really did intend to enjoy only a single pint. But then Chris, a local, bought us two more rounds. Remarkable that we still continued to hike!

We found a sad looking sunflower on a church lot in Etna. Squeeze Me Biscuits rose to the challenge of seeing to its needs.

What is this thing?!

 

A little hostel run by a British couple on the edge of Etna. We stopped in just to wave at other hikers.

The local I mentioned earlier, Chris, had invited us to stay at his house. He said he would barbecue on his grill and that he had growlers of beer at home. It was all very tempting. But Squeeze Me Biscuits was eager to return to trail and I had promised him we wouldn’t fall into the vortex of town, so we politely declined. We walked to the edge of town, where there’s a B&B with a small structure on the side that is specifically for PCT hikers. I spoke with the British owner, and he said we wouldn’t have any luck hitching up to the pass at this time. (It was around 6:30 PM), and that we’d best try in the morning. As I’m speaking with him, a lumber man, Tim, pulled over with a pickup truck full of chainsaws and fuel and several hikers already. We jumped in and we were soon back on trail.

Smoke from nearby forest fires fills the air.

Typical example of a trail register. Occasionally, you come upon a notebook such as this and it’s a nice way to communicate through time across the trail. It helps to know how far ahead a friend might be, or whether they’ve even passed yet. Sometimes these are found in little wooden kiosks that perhaps an Eagle Scout has made as his project, but more often than not they are found in towns, at post offices, trading posts and key hiker establishments.
My first and only scorpion of all of California. I would never have expected it this far north.

I haven’t played a mobile game on my phone for ages. While cowboy camping last night, I thought, “Ok, I’m gonna reward myself with 10 minutes of a casual game on my phone.” Earphones plugged in. I load Plants vs. Zombies 2. And immediately realize what a mistake I’ve made. Moths start dive-bombing into my face. It was a short lived experience. So tonight, I pitched my tent in the dark, partly just so I could enjoy 10 minutes of zombies. It was perfect. I got my fix.

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