Days 43 - 50 - ashland to mt. Shasta
May 9 - 16 | Miles: Who knows??
The past week has been full of challenges and changing plans. After getting back on trail near Ashland, we quickly encountered big snow that forced us to have our GPS out at all times, and often involved actually avoiding the trail in order to find the path of least resistance.
Snow travel and orienteering was extremely slow going, and we had to stop every few miles to dry out socks and cram calories. At one point I stepped into a snowbridge over a creek that collapsed under me and sent me postholing chest-deep. I log-rolled out quite ungracefully but we all got a kick out of it. Many falls were taken–par for the course for me.
We saw no other tracks in the snow but those from deer and mountain lions. We were quite literally the first and only people out there, a fact made clear when we passed the OR/CA state line and were the first of 2019 to sign the trail register.
As we made our way into Seiad Valley, we were treated to a killer waterfall where we took a break to bathe for the first time in days.
In town we met a nice guy named the Captain who’s opening his property to hikers this season and who let us stay on his plot by the river. He also cooked us up some nice Mac n cheese and offered us s’mores around a bonfire for dessert.
The next day we made a clutch plan to roadwalk to Mt. Shasta instead of taking the trail, as the snow was too dangerous and there would be freezing rain in the forecast. We began walking along the Scott and Klamath Rivers.
And there I got this dorky pic that looks like me on the first day of school.
We passed through what’s known as the State of Jefferson, a part of NorCal that would like to consider itself its own state. The area is rich in natural resources that get snapped up by San Francisco and SoCal, but the area sees none of the income nor do they reap any benefits. The political aspect of it is pretty interesting and the locals are really passionate about it.
The next two days pulled us through tiny towns with names like Scott’s Bar and Gazelle. With rain in the forecast, we camped 16 miles outside of Shasta with plans to hit up the McDonald’s in Weed on our way there.
And boy was that a good plan. We walked 6 soaking miles the next morning and arrived at McD’s drenched and freezing. The locals gawked in awe and probably thought we were idiots, while the local hobos rolling in welcomed us to a stay at their community. We dried off to some breakfast sandwiches and coffee (my second large cup was free thanks to the angel lady working the register).
We then hit up the Grocery Outlet next door, not planning to resupply but deciding to once we checked their insanely low prices. I spent $30 and saved $50.
We then booked it to Mt. Shasta in the bone-chilling rain. By the time we arrived I couldn’t move my fingers and my phone wouldn’t recognize them on my wetted-out touch screen. Nevertheless, we trudged our way to the Inn at Mt. Shasta and FINALLY enjoyed our hard-earned showers. 7 days filthy… this was a new record for me. Even my towels came out black.
I ditched the guys for dinner at the Organic Food Store and enjoyed my veggie meal in peace free of judgement amongst all the crusty hippies.
Today we woke up and got a ride from Marco, our host for the night, back to the Grocery Outlet, where I picked up dinner fixins for the crowd. We hitched back to his house and then walked to the movie theater to see Long Shot (hilarious).
Back at the house, I put Crazy Eyes to work peeling garlic and went to town on dinner prep. Marco and his girlfriend Heather invited a few friends over as well–we chatted over his brews (he’s a brewmaster in Weed) and I was stoked to be feeding a big group. A good night was had by all.