Day 95 mile 1666 – 1687.7 (0.2 extra miles for water)

Elevation: ascent 4,169 ft, descent 3,895 ft

Well last night was interesting. I woke to the sounds of what sounded like scratching and snorting. First thing that popped into my head was, bear. So I quietly listened trying to determine the source. It definitely was moving closer and sounded a lot bigger than a mouse. I quickly grabbed my headlamp, turned it on while yelling out. Obviously this woke Double Down as well and I’m not sure that is the best way to get woken up in the woods. I heard the animal move away from the tent, but I wanted to make sure what ever it was left. So I exited the tent and started to scan the area for what ever it was that woke me. Off in the distance I only saw a pair of eyes looking back at me. The eyes bobbed up and down and were close to the ground but I still couldn’t make out what it was. I turned the headlamp up to high and that is when I was able to see that the animal was just a deer. PHEW!! I returned to the tent and informed Double Down it had been a deer, so no worries. As I tried to fall back to sleep I could hear the deer return, obviously hungry as it was chewing on nearby plants. Then it took off through the brush. Finally, I could get some sleep!!

In the morning while leaving camp we happened to see a pool of water only about 100 feet from our tent. Well that would have been a heck of a lot easier for Double Down yesterday instead of the 1/2 mile off trail excursion she took yesterday. Guess when you are tired you don’t see some of the little things right in front of you.

The morning found us descending a little more which brought us into a lush area and Lily Pad Lake. We also have been noticing more berry bushes. Today was the white bark raspberries. Makes it hard to get the miles in when you are constantly stopping for a handful of nature’s candy.

Lily Pad Lake

Then the burn sections started to show themselves again. We had heard from a local in Seiad Valley that they have had pretty bad fire seasons the past 5 years, so I guess the burn sections make sense but still sad to see. As we stated to climb again, that is when my legs started to protest. They were super tired today. Not sure if it was the big climb in the heat yesterday, or the fact that we haven’t given our bodies a lot of rest over the past 500 miles. I just felt like my body was in a haze. We were talking this morning about how we are asking our bodies to hike almost a marathon everyday without any days of rest. Not something I would recommend to someone inquiring about an exercise routine that’s for sure!

Western Cone Flower

As the day progressed we had some hazy views back down towards Seiad Valley. I like my IPAs Hazy but not my views. The thunderstorms over the past two days had started at least one fire that we knew of. The air definitely had that campfire smell to it. This smell is not one you want to have unless you are roasting marshmallows at camp.

Distant Fire

Around lunch time we got to a site that was supposed to have cell service. We had been getting behind with our blogs due to no service the past three days. When we got there and noticed we did actually have service we both went to work on our respective blogs. Funny how we could have 2-3 bars of LTE while standing and no service while sitting. This meant we spent most of our lunch standing as we attempted to get pictures and videos uploaded. Our problem was that even with 2 bars of service the uploads were going very slowly and caused us to retry several times. After an hour and a half I was almost done and then I accidentally hit the undo button which then wiped out most of the work I had done with the blog. This sent me over the edge. I was already tired and now I was super frustrated that all this work now had to be redone. Double Down tried to cheer me up but I wasn’t having it. I guess I was just having the Northern California Blues. Many hikers get this and can be the cause of many hikers to skip ahead or quit. This state is just so damn long!!

After an hour or so I stopped my pitty party and started to enjoy the trail again as some of the views north were giving us clearer skies and this definitely helped perk me up. We ran across some interesting things this afternoon. First were these cool large cairns that we would find along the trail. Not sure what they signify or represent but someone put a lot of work into those. The second thing was a wilderness toilet, literally just in the middle of the woods off to the side of the trail. Didn’t look like it had been set up well (no pit dug), so we stayed far away.

As we got closer to our tent site we were passing a spring and could hear the distinct sound of cow bells. Yup there were about 5 cows down by the water. Good reason for us to move on to the next one. Cows, you see, don’t really care where they relieve themselves and I wasn’t about to grab water with cow pies all around. We got to Bearground Springs and were much happier collecting water here.

Bearground Spring

We have a nice large tent site to ourselves tonight and this will be our last dinner in California…Hallelujah!! We did have to choose our tent location carefully because the cows that were at the spring were obviously here in the past. Good thing we had some nice large sticks to move the old cow pies out of the way.

I am super excited that tomorrow marks our end to California. Feels like I need it mentally. Thanks for following along!! Link

P.S. We have had many of you ask how we are finding out about the flowers, trees and plants. We got turned on to the “Seek” app from our friend Joanne. With the app it uses the camera on our phone to identify plants, insects, reptiles and animals. Great thing is you don’t need cell reception for it to work. So we can identify things and then go back and research more later.