25 Jun Day 64 – The Packer
At mile 1599.7. Hiked 8.9 miles today.
Dan, the Packer, gave me a ride down the summit into Etna.This means that he leads his pack mules up the PCT to supply trail maintainers. He has also used his mules to support last year’s fire fighting effort for the Island Fire in Klamath National Forest.
Horses and a mule where Dan was headed when he dropped me off.
One time long ago, Dan was leading his mules down trail when a cougar appeared next to the trail. The cougar quickly crouched down behind a fallen tree. Dan had noticed the cougar because the mules suddenly made some sounds that indicated something was up. Here is Dan in his pickup, saddles and my pack in the back and two very friendly dogs in the front.
Thanks to Dan for everything he does. He picks up hikers and helps pack it into the PCT wherever it is needed. He’s like the UPS of the PCT and is a true westerner, one Louis L’amour could have used as one of his characters.
I did hike some today. Here is Smith Lake and Etna mountain.
Here is the trail with Etna Mountain, which isn’t particularly high at something over 7000 feet.
Here is the daily Mt Shasta photo.
Here are flowers that I am going to name Candy Stripe. I don’t know their real name.
There was some snow on the trail. I’ve heard a lot about this tricky spot, but most snow was melted before I arrived. A few weeks earlier it would have been a concern. Look closely at photo below for the snow on the trail.
Retired my Salomon X-Ultra hiking shoes today with 1157 PCT miles on them plus 30 miles hiking in GA and easily more than 13 miles trail town and side trail miles. These shoes had more than 1200 miles. The last gaitor for these shoes fell apart yesterday. I’ve been hiking with one gaitor the last couple hundred miles. Now I’ll be hiking in Altra Olympus shoes and Dirty Girl Gaitors.
Here are my old shoes. Still wearable.
I hitchhiked into Etna, getting picked up my 2nd vehicle. Only 25 minute wait on this remote less traveled road. Others have waited as long as 2 hours.
Here I am hitchhiking. Beautiful spot with views to make time spent more enjoyable. I also listened to tunes and danced to Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and The Waves while waiting in a car, any car.
Here is the Hiker Hut in Etna where I am staying. I love this hostel and this little rural town that must have the highest number of breweries per capita.
Ouch a section hiker carrying heavy backpack to prepare for Kilimanjaro. At Hiker Hut with sisters Dirty and Rye. They are NOBO to Canada, then flipping SOBO to Mexico.