Total Miles: 1647.0
I’d almost forgotten what humidity felt like. That unpleasant stickiness that had been a constant companion growing up in the heat of the upstate New York summer and had followed me for months of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike has been nearly nonexistent on the Pacific Crest Trail. Oh, how that would change today.
Heading towards Seiad Valley, and our final town stop in the state of California tomorrow, the trail spent only the first 9 miles of the day up on its usual high mountain perch before tilting down all the way from 7000 feet to less than 1500. All the while, we traced the course of a creek deeper and deeper into yet another canyon that bore the obvious signs of a past marred by wildfire. As the breeze of the higher elevation vanished and we descended further still, the air became saturated with a moisture that was all too familiar, if not foreign for this particular trail. Combined with the increasing heat of the lower elevation, the humidity was oppressive.
The flip side to the story is that the miles rolled by on such a consistent descent, and in crossing the creek for the final time the trail delivered us to a defunct campground at the end of a gravel road. Camping near water has been a rare luxury of late, and we all relished the chance to cool off and clean some of the dirt off ourselves from another day of dusty trail, even though it was after 7pm by the time we arrived.
Tomorrow, the gravel road will lead us the final 6 miles into Seiad Valley, where our formal farewell tour of California begins.