Day 91 mile 1594 – 1599.7

Elevation: ascent 904 ft, descent 1,441 ft

Well it seems like we set up camp near a rodent’s den again because I woke up last night to the feeling of something running across the top of my head. It was on the outside of the mesh portion of the tent but still woke me up. Then around 2:00am I was once again woken up by the sound of something wrestling around in my pack…UGH!! A quick check of the pack showed no signs of being chewed on but there were some “mouse droppings “ on it. So the packs got raised up into the trees once again.

The plan today is to Nero in Etna, grab our resupply and EAT!! Payne’s Lake was really calm and gorgeous this morning as we definitely took time to take that in fully. We haven’t had too many nights sleeping by a lake so we made sure to really appreciate it. Then it was off to hiking a short distance to where we were planning to get picked up by the owners of the Etna Motel, the place we will be staying.

We were greeted with an almost thousand foot climb this morning but since it was early still, the cool weather made it more tolerable. Or it could have been all of the thoughts of food going through our heads. We had some nice views this morning, although a bit hazy off in the distance. We hiked above Smith Lake as we reached the summit. Now it was down to Etna Summit Trailhead and a trail town. We got to the trailhead at about 9:15. Unfortunately, we didn’t have cell service so we weren’t quite sure when the ride would get there. So we just sat in the shade catching up on some blogging and crossing our fingers that each car that came by would finally be our ride.

Well at about 9:45 another thru hiker “Long Stride” showed up and said she was going to the Etna Motel as well. She thought the pick up was going to be around 10:00. Phew, our worries were eased a bit. Well the minutes kept clicking by and 10:00 came and went, still no ride. Then a truck rolls into the parking area and the two people inside are just looking at us. The three of us waved but weren’t quite sure if this was actually our ride. The woman got out and Long Stride asked if she was Shannondoah, who was picking us up. The response was NOT what we wanted to hear as she said no. Then she followed it up by asking if we would like a ride into town. All three of us jumped for joy and quickly took them up on their offer. I rode to Etna with Denny and Summit (their golden retriever) while the two girls went with Sally in their second car. Denny and Sally have been section hiking the PCT over the past 8 years and just got done with this section. We were swiftly carried off to Etna and the promise of food and relaxation. They dropped us off at the Etna Motel and said our goodbyes, but not before thanking them immensely!!

We were early so we couldn’t check in just yet but the owners let us keep our bags in the office until the rooms were ready. Now it was off to downtown Etna for breakfast and to swing by the Post Office for our resupply. On the way down we ran into Pocket Sauce and High Stakes (how does he keep getting ahead of us in towns 😂). We hadn’t seen Pocket Sauce since right before Forester and it was so much fun catching up with her. We also met Ducky who is traveling with her. After getting breakfast burritos the whole gang headed to the Post Office. I got to go in first and gave the information they needed but the employee came back and said they didn’t have our box. WHAT?? YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING!!! I had to go back outside to get the tracking information from Double Down on the box which we knew had been delivered. So when I went back in, the employee was able to find it, as it got put in the wrong spot. PHEW!!!!

Now that our bellies were full (for the time being) and we had our resupply we headed back to the Motel. To our surprise the owner had our room ready early. So we were able to get into the room and clean up. The motel is really well run and even has a laundry service which is nice in order to get all the dirt off our clothes.

After showering and cleaning up Double Down and I headed over to Dotty’s for a shake and food for lunch. After completely stuffing our selves we got food organized for the next leg, cleaned up some gear and of course we did some lying around.

Mantis and Pants arrived at the hotel around 4:30, so we made plans to have dinner. Long Stride joined us as we headed over to Paystreak Brewing for dinner and some drinks. We had a ton of laughs sharing our stories from the trail. It was fun getting to know Long Stride better. After dinner we all couldn’t pass up the soft serve they had on the menu.

Our plan is to head back to the trail tomorrow with Long Stride but Pants and Mantis will be staying for a zero. Knowing them they will pull some crazy all nighter hiking and pass us on the trail in a week or two. This town day was packed with a lot of activities and definitely had the most hikers we have been around since Kennedy Meadows which made for a lot of fun. Thanks for following along on this adventure! Link