Day 73: Paradise Lake to CS1661 (35.0 miles - 1661.5)
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
July 19, 2016 - Got an early start in hopes of the Seiad Cafe would be open when I got to town as they close at 2pm everyday.
Tried to hike without my ankle brace since it felt ok but it kind of hurt so I put it back on and was pain free the rest of the day.
Today’s hike started with a rocky mile climb up which quickly turn into a downhill. From there it was basically all downhill to Seiad Valley.
The downhill at first was steep which slowly became more gradual once I hit Grider Creek. From there I followed the creek for about 8 miles and having to cross it 4 times. I soaked my ankle a few times in hopes the cool water would help heal it.
One of the bridges across the creek looked to have burn down recently but nothing wrong with the last bridge as it took me to the end of the creek following and onto the road walk to town. Before hitting the road I got a dip into the creek and had made lunch break on the rocks.
After an hour of relaxing I packed up and started the 6.5 mile road walk to Seiad Valley. The first 2.5 was on a gravel road before turning into a paved highway. The weather was nice and that it wasn’t too hot and from what I’ve read that the area is normally really hot this time of year. Hiking in the shade also helped.
I got to the Seiad Store and Cafe around 4pm. Unfortunately the cafe was closed by then but was able to get plenty of junk food and resupply in the store. However with the cafe closed I wasn’t able to try the 5 lbs pancake challenge. Probable good I didn’t try it as I don’t think I would have been able to hike out today.
The plan was to leaving around 5:30pm and head to the top of the peak since I had a 4500ft climb over 8 miles. I wanted to knock it all out today rather than wait in the morning like most do. However I ended up hanging around the store chatting with the other hikers and didn’t get going until 6:45pm, which meant I would be doing some night hiking if I wanted to make it to the top.
With that steep of a climb I knew it would be slow going plus there would be lots of poison oak to dodge. I slowly made my way up getting great views of the surrounding mountains. The spot I wanted to camp at wasn’t on the map. I was gambling that there would be a flat spot to pitch my tent. As I was going up I pasted a few good spots but I was determined to go all the way to the top. It slowly started getting dark around 9:15pm but luckily for me the full moon was rising and it was bright, bright enough that I was casting a shadow. I got towards top and found a nice little spot to pitch my tent. Even at 10pm I could see some orange off in the distance with the sun setting off to the west.