Day 72: mile 1187 – mile 1210.1 (+1.5 to town)
Elevation gain: 5,073 ft…YOWZAA!
Elevation loss: 4,244 ft
Sierra City is adorable! Super cute, sleepy little mountain town of only 225 people. We loved our time there today even though it was only about 2 hours. But first, we had to get there…so we made sure we were walking by 6:30. We had 8.2 miles hiking + 1.5 road walk, but were hoping we could get a hitch for that part. The hiking to Sierra City was so unbelievably green and lush!
We made it to the road to Sierra City at 9:30 and started walking, but held out our “Hiker to Town” sign all 3 times a car passed (yes, only 3 cars passed us!). Unfortunately, our efforts didn’t pay off, and no one drove us into town. Thank goodness it was only 1.5 miles and downhill, but still seemed to take forever…there was a town meal with my name on it!
The first place we stopped was the Confluence Coffee House which we had heard great things about. And for good reason, the owners are amazing! The place is adorable, the coffee is really tasty, and they were so hiker friendly. They let us keep our packs in a safe place so we didn’t have to cart them around town, charge our electronics, use their WiFi, and just hang out in their super fun lounge area. Added bonus: they had the cutest dog outside, Zeik, that loved to be petted, so I did that A LOT 😁
Mantis/Pants found out the cute little lodge in town had a cancellation so they had hiked until 9:30pm last night in order to enjoy a bed and shower. This morning, when we got to the coffee shop, it took us a while to figure out the WiFi, but when we finally did, I texted Mantis to let them know we were there and then Link and I headed to the Red Moose Cafe for breakfast. Just as we were walking across the street, Mantis texted back and offered us the use of their shower if we wanted it…OH MY GOSH, YES!! I rushed back to the coffee house to get back on their WiFi to find out where she was, but it wouldn’t let me log back in. Erggg…I knew my time was running out because they needed to check out at 11am! Just then, Mantis walked through the door, worried that I didn’t get her text so she came looking for us…sooo thoughtful! ♥️ Link decided to just relax at the Cafe while I went to shower which, literally, felt better than any shower I can remember. I think because it was totally unexpected and unplanned, and just so nice of them to let me do that! Then I met Link at the Cafe where we had tasty scrambles, toast and hash browns. Whenever my body knows a yummy town meal is coming, it can’t possibly stomach anymore trail food for some reason. So I had only had my coffee before this breakfast at 10:30, so I “might” have tasted it, but basically I just inhaled it.
Neither of us were, by any means, full after breakfast, so we ordered lunch from the Cafe as well to take with us to eat on the trail. While that was being prepared we walked over to the General Store for some snacks. We ended up with nothing but the healthy stuff: Fritos, ice cream sandwich, root beer, Snickers, Milkyway, MnMs, Milano cookies, Almond Joy…Good Golly, when will I ever be able to eat like this again? Never! Sierra City is literally adorable…most of the buildings are original and everyone is so friendly and chill. It’s funny that we wanted to make sure we got here today and not tomorrow (on July 4th) because we were worried about a town being too crazy on the holiday. I don’t see that ever happening here, which was perfect for us!
It was then almost noon and we knew we wanted to leave soon, so we started packing up some stuff when someone outside the coffee shop offered all 4 of us a ride to the trail…what luck! There was no way we wanted to do that road walk especially since it was all uphill and we were facing an 8 mile, 3,000 ft climb coming up next on the trail. So there was no time to eat snacks or upload any pix because this ride was the priority! We hopped in the back of their pickup truck, and off we went.
We were hiking at 12:15 which isn’t the ideal time to start a grueling climb…it was getting hot! Thankfully, most of the first 4 miles was shaded since there was no breeze whatsoever, plus, the conversation with Mantis/Pants made the time go by quickly. We reached a mini plateau after 4 miles which is when we were finally greeted with a lovely breeze. Mantis/Pants wanted to take a little break so we went on and figured we would probably see them later at camp.
The 2nd half of the climb had beautiful views, but a lot of it had us walking on shale which is my least favorite. Very hard on the feet/ankles, plus makes it difficult to look around!
Link and I were feeling pretty good so we didn’t want to stop at the top to sit and have lunch. Instead, we got our fries out of our sack lunch from The Red Moose Cafe and thought we could eat them while walking down the hill. Well, the condensation made the bag fragile and Link’s fry bag ripped, sending about 20 of the fries onto the trail ☹️ This is no problem, and we didn’t even skip a beat…we picked them up and put them all back in the bag. Those were still going to be eaten, no question!
We were then descending about 4 miles which took us by a couple really pretty lakes FILLED with people car camping for the holiday weekend. There were a lot of dirt roads nearby which meant super easy access for everyone.
We then had ONE more, steeper, climb before reaching our planned destination. It was 3 miles and now our legs were really starting to feel it, but I was thinking about my Turkey Club and Milano cookies waiting for me!
At 6:40, when we got within .2 of our campsite, we started to hear loud voices, dogs barking, and music blaring. There was another dirt road at the top of this climb and we figured there were people camped up there being louder than we felt we could really handle. So we found a flat-ish spot and decided it was best to stop there. We texted Mantis/Pants through the Inreach to let them know we stopped a little early, and set up camp before enjoying our town meal to go. The cook at the Red Moose had even left us messages on our sandwiches!
Link had his bacon cheeseburger, Fritos, and THEN still made the chicken white bean chili we had planned on having for dinner. I was too full to help him eat that, but he needs the calories for sure so I’m so glad he ate both! Mantis/Pants arrived at camp around 8pm and we totally had room for both tents so it was perfect! The sunset was beautiful again tonight…we are getting so lucky with that!
Even though we only spent about 2 hours in Sierra City, we really felt refueled by this cute little town! We never thought we would be able to hike that many miles with so much elevation gain, yet still feel pretty darn good doing it. Hopefully this trend will continue! Thanks for reading guys, Double Down