Total Miles: 1597.2
The anticipation of getting into the town of Etna for resupply today was heightened even more by wanting to reunite with Beardoh and Sweet Pea, and to learn how Beardoh had been faring since they left the trail two days ago. Aside from getting stung by a bee during my last break of the day when I sat on some fallen timber that had a hive beneath it, it was a pretty uneventful stroll. I did find one more sign that could have made yesterday's post about trail markings, since this one was rapidly being reclaimed by the tree from which it hung. The sap almost look like blood dripping down them.
There were also some of the brightest and most vibrant patches of Tiger Lily and Columbine I'd seen in quite a number of miles—a nice surprise given that I thought their beautiful blooms were mostly in the past.
Gazelle and I arrived at the road into town at 4pm only to sit and stare at empty pavement with only 5 cars passing by in the span of 90 minutes. Finally, a pickup track pulled over to collect all 8 of us that had been hoping to get a ride, and quickly set off down the 10 miles of winding hairpin turns into town.
The quiet town of Etna is filled with yet more gracious people going out of their way to make hikers feel at home. It also marks the fact that there is only one more town stop and less than 100 remaining trail miles in a state that I've spent the last 3 months hiking through. California has been beautiful at every turn, but I'm excited to turn the page to Oregon.
Beardoh seems to be on the mend after a few days of rest and a trip to the doctor who diagnosed him with a viral infection that has been making the rounds. Of course, since he'll be hiking out of town not in a pair of trail shoes, but in a shiny new pair of Chacos, I can't imagine how things won't improve dramatically...