Day 90: (20.5 miles)
mile 1178 – 1195.5 +3.5 “bonus miles”
We were on the trail early and setting a good pace, as it was Sierra City town day.
Today was quite “summery” as it was hot! We had to be mindful of our water intake. Luckily, today it was still pretty plentiful. Nothing like in the Sierra’s where we were tripping (literally) over water crossing the trail, but we found it at good intervals so we didn’t have to carry more than a liter at a time. We ran into several thru and section hikers today…all, but two, were headed into Sierra City. We had two goals in mind…to make it to town before the Country Store closed as we had to pick up two days worth of supplies so we could make it to Quincy. Why carry more than we had to from Truckee right? The other goal was to take a plunge into the locals homemade swimming hole just a mile before town. We succeeded with both goals.
The swimming hole was just short of freezing cold, but remarkably refreshing and well worth the dip. If we weren’t pressed for time, we would have stayed a lot longer. Just as we were drying off the two brothers from Huntington Beach that are section hiking the PCT showed up. They were concerned about making it to town in time, but we talked them into taking the plunge as well. When we saw them in town, they agreed that it was worth it. When we arrived in town, the curbing up to the Sierra City Country Store was littered with “hiker trash”, with the exception of “Cheese “, all were new to us. We counted approximately 15 hikers. While at the store we spent way too much money on food, namely two cheeseburgers, one of which (Paul’s) was called the “gut buster”. This monstrosity was 1lb of beef with everything on it. Unbelievably, Paul consumed the entire burger, even after a full bag of chips and a coke. As there was no chocolate milk, I settled for a chocolate shake.
After “dinner” and resupplying, we wandered over to the Red Moose Inn. The store was in the process of closing and we were in search of a place to camp, and a beer, both of which were available at the Red Moose. The proprietors of the Inn are also “trail angels”, and have been for several years. They allow hikers to camp in their backyard, provide breakfast and a shower for a nominal fee. Although they were not serving dinner and the restaurant was “closed”, we were able to smooze Jim into letting us buy a beer or two. We got to talking and he realized we weren’t the normal hiker “trash” that the Red Moose has been getting as of late. Jim said that he’s had more than a few hikers this year that he calls “takers”, meaning they take without asking, expect things to be free and or they are entitled to anything that’s not nailed down. We call them
“freegans” . They expect everything to be free or if they can take it, it’s theirs. We’ve seen this behavior before on the trail. Jim told us war stories of what’s been going on this year : beer taken out of the back after hours, emptying of the tip jar, urinating in his yard and partying late at night causing the sheriff to come out. This may be his last year. So sad. I hate reporting this but it’s part of the our journey. We’ve decided no more looking the other way. If these punks are out of line then they will be dealt with. They are ruining the trail for everyone behind them.
We camped in the local church side yard which worked out well. Next door was a public restroom. We plan on exiting town early because tomorrow has a long steep climb for the first 6 miles.