Monday, July 4, 2022
Start: Kangaroo Spring
End: old gravel road
Elevation gain/loss: 5151/6050
I got up around 4:30am to dig a hole. I got back into bed and dozed until 5:30am. Then I packed up and was on trail by 6:10, in the cool overcast and rainy weather. Despite setting up in a light drizzle the night before, I managed to keep my gear pretty dry.
I started with some climbing, but then did the long descent into Seid Valley. Because of the fire last year, this section was pretty bad – overgrown bushes taller than me obscuring the trail, fallen trees to climb over or around, and some sections where wayfinding was needed. On my descent, I saw half a dozen NOBO thru-hikers, one of whom was Jupiter, a hiker I follow on IG. We chatted for a few minutes before going our separate ways.
I was in town by 9:45am, and the rain died down as I got there. At the RV park, I started laundry, showered, and charged my devices, then ordered a big breakfast of an omelet, home fries, a biscuit, and pancakes. I met El Hefe and Summer Nights who were also doing a quick turnaround in town, and we chatted while we did our town chores. They’re section hiking from Dunsmuir to Ashland. They gave me some quality snacks they didn’t need from their resupply box, which allowed me to skip resupplying from the store. We had a grand time talked trails in Europe, the PCT, and the JMT. I pushed off onto the trail/road walk out of town at 1:15.
The road was long and boring, but a welcome respite after the morning and what was to come. It sprinkled rain a few times, enough I put on my rain cover. A woman offered me a ride to the campground/trailhead ~4 miles up the road, but I politely declined. I partook of the privy at the campground, filtered water from the creek, and continued up the trail for the next brutal section of trail – Grider Creek. Soon after, it started raining again with light rain, then medium rain, then mist. This soaked all of the shrubbery I had to continually push through, and made the slick trees I had to climb over more treacherous. Eventually, I gave up trying to keep my clothes or feet dry
I cursing myself for not stopping sooner, when it was just light rain and hadn’t yet switched to soaking rain. I arrived at camp around 8:30pm, completely soaked to the skin, with rain pouring down from the sky. I had to set up my tent on an old overgrown gravel road not far from 3 other tents. It was completely miserable. I put a ton of effort to keeping my dry gear dry, which was very challenging, given that I was in dripping wet clothing. I managed okay, and was proud of how I handled it. Thankfully, it didn’t get too cold overnight.