Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 106: Cold Spring Creek to Seiad Valley

A layer of gray clouds blanketed the morning sky, but the air warmed up quickly and it soon felt hot and humid.  We hiked quickly, navigating our way through thickets of poison oak, mixed in with more pleasant plants: thimbleberry and blackberry vines, low bush blueberries, and many other green plants tucked away underneath a canopy of trees. 

Descending the Grider Creek canyon, we crossed the creek several times on sturdy, wooden bridges.  Between bridges we continued to dodge poison oak until we finally reached the Grider Creek Campground.

From the campground, the PCT actually follows a series of roads to Highway 96, then uses Highway 96 to cross the Klammath River on a narrow metal bridge.  The "trail" continues to use the highway through the small town of Seiad Valley (1,371 ft), resuming actual trail tread less than a mile out of town.

Just outside Seiad Valley, we discovered an old rope swing tied to a large, mossy oak tree in Schoolhouse Gulch.  The tree begged to be climbed, and we have not yet passed a rope or tire swing without testing it.  Clutching the large knot at the end of the worn, slightly frayed rope, we took turns swinging.

My father picked us up where the trail resumed and drove us back to town.  We stopped at the Seiad Cafe for lunch, home of the famous Pancake Challenge: anyone who can eat a stack of five, one-pound pancakes gets their pancakes for free!  We talked to several hikers who planned to attempt the challenge in the morning.

After lunch we walked over to the RV park.  We were still organizing our resupply when we heard the first loud roll of thunder.  Soon the rain was coming down in sheets.  The wind picked up, driving rain, soggy leaves, and mud sideways against anything in its path.  As Sierra and I headed over to the showers the rain briefly turned to sleet.  After loading up the shower with quarters, we discovered the water was almost as cold as the storm outside.  Ironically enough, our friend Lil' Bear reported that the water in the laundry next door was so hot it melted the buttons on her shirt!

Although the storm passed through by bedtime, puddles remained on the ground.  We fell asleep to the steady drip, drip, drip of water from the trees.

1 comment:

  1. Hello....not sure of your dates..the storm hit Aug 5th and like to burnt us out by the end of the month. The fire burnt all the way down Schoolhouse Gulch are incredible. Next time you are in Seiad look us up. Your blog was forwarded to me by Larry Budd and the Trailhead

    Photos here: