Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pacific Crest Trail 2009 ~ Part 23

From Etna Summit, we soon entered the Marbled Mountain Wilderness.

In the afternoon we could see in the distance that there was a very smoky fire happening near, or on the trail.  We were worried if we would be able to get through the area, since there probably was not an alternate route to Seiad Valley 54 miles ahead.

Luckily, the fire was not out of control but was indeed burning directly on our route.  However, in the morning hours, the smoke and flames were subdued by the cool temperatures of the evening and the early morning mountain dew.

There really was Marble in these sculpted Mountains.

Buckwheat and Indian Paintbrush dotted the terrain.  We saw new types of flora seemingly every single day.

The air quality was indeed still very smoky from Trinity Alps fire.
Many more fires were soon to come.  
We were passing through this hot and parched country just in the nick of time.

From 6000 plus feet in elevation we rapidly descended into the deep Klamath River drainage with an elevation of 1,371 feet.

As we approached our next re-supply town of Seiad Valley, Stacey noticed she had blood in her urine.  We were both worried, so we had to hitch into Happy Camp to the west to see a doctor at a Native American Health Clinic.  The doctor said she was only excessively dehydrated which often causes bleeding into the bladder.  However, she did give her antibiotics for the trail in case the situation flared up.  

We then took the day off at Seiad Valley where they have the famous pancake challenge where only a few hikers have ever finished eating their massive and fluffy portions.  We opted to skip the pancakes for a standard meatless breakfast.  The temperatures at the neighboring campground reached 106 degrees in the shade for the hottest part of the day.

Early in the morning we ascended once again from 1,300 feet back up to 6000 feet.

On the way up Stacey almost stepped on a greenish looking rattle snack.  It scared her and she scared it.

Not too far from the rattlesnake, we almost then stepped on a clutch of new born Mountain Quail along with its mother. They were directly on the trail, and we could even touch them.  They were not moving a muscle. They were totally cute.

Clouds were beginning to build up on the horizon, and to the east of us we saw the blackest clouds we ever saw.  The lightning strikes after sunset were spectacular.  However, new fires sprouted throughout the region. 

The next day we finally arrived into Oregon.  We were excited to have another chapter of the Pacific Crest Trail completed.  There were now 1,700 miles behind us, and we had less than 1000 miles to go till we reached the Canadian border.


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