Today was the early start we had been looking for the past few days. We were up at 5:30am and on our way at 6:30. It was a very cruisy day which involved a few rolling hills early on before turning into a long descent down to Hwy 49, 1.5 miles east of Sierra City.
After the first few miles we dropped below the snowline and enjoyed the longest stretch of snow-free trail since Kennedy Meadows around mile 700. As we dropped elevation we seemingly walked into another world and it really felt like we transitioned into Northern California and out of the Sierras. The forest got thicker and there were ferns and other understory reminiscent of the NW.
Since the miles were easier we made our 19 for the day by 3:40pm and into town around 4pm in time to pick up our packages, buy some ice cream, and check out the Red Moose Restaurant/Inn. Amazing! Margaret and Bill bought the Red Moose last year and inadvertently started feeding, and then hosting, hikers. This year many hikers have been looking forward to the ribs they make here and the overall hospitality they provide. This year they enlisted the help of a 2010 SOBO thruhiker, Coach K, to help out during the busy hiker time. They have showers, laundry, food, a place to hang out inside, and camping in the backyard. It is a welcome surprise to me!
Thanks to my sister's family for the delicious goodies in the care package and my mom for more dried goods to add to meals (as well as the maps)!
If anyone else wants to send packages, the zipcode for Seiad Valley is incorrect! The correct zipcode is 96086. Also, I'm about two weeks behind my original schedule, but still on the way!
Back on the trail tomorrow!
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