Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mile 1665.8: Stuff your face in Seiad Valley

We hiked out of the steep-walled Grider Creek drainage to a six mile, HOT roadwalk into Seiad Valley. We did 14 miles before 11:45, and would have been in earlier if we weren't distracted by the ripe blackberries growing along the roadside. Yum!

I passed up The Infamous Seiad Valley Pancake Challenge at the local diner (eat five 1" thick, plate sized pancakes in under forty-five minutes and they're FREE!) and opted instead for a milkshake and a bacon-avocado-chicken melt with cottage cheese and a pineapple ring instead of fries. I can't imagine I would have had a worse stomachache from the pancakes. I was terribly uncomfortable resupplying and repacking, the mercury was hovering right under 100, the humidity was high, and my belly was distended out from my spandex shorts from all the food and then all the cold beverages I was chugging.

We hit the trail much later than intended, daunted by the multi-thousand foot climb awaiting us in the heat and humidity. I was carrying two and a half liters, realizing that I'm more comfortable carrying the excess weight than I am dehydrated, and unsure if we'd make it to a water source before remembering how much we hate night hiking. Micro and Sweet 16 make fun of me for it, but I get to make my own decisions. Sure enough, Micro and 16 each got less than a liter each at our first source at 8 pm to make it over four and a half miles to our next source. We're camping two miles from that second source, and I gave them each some water to make it possible. I need about a liter and a half to comfortably dry camp and make it a few mikes in the morning, which I had. I laid down the new rules though: no more making fun of me when I decide to carry water in excess of what I absolutely need to get to the next source. The conservative hiker prevails!

- Typoed on my iPhone

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