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Northern California

Northern California turned out to be a little lonely after many of the friends we met went other directions after approaching the Sierra Nevada Range. Some trail friends flipped up to Canada, some to Oregon, and several went home. Jack and I ended up in Chester, California and felt like we were beginning a new journey. We hitched a one hour ride from Lone Pine to Bishop, then a four hour ride on public transportation to Reno, an hour Uber ride to Susanville, and finally another hour to Chester where we hopped on a bus full of other PCTers.

It took some time but we began seeing some same faces on the trail and at camp sites and becoming friends.

Mt Shasta dominated the view as we continued north and I never got tired of seeing its splendor. Once I thought I'd seen enough, the surrounding view would frame the mountain in a different light.

Etna, California is a small friendly PCT town that welcomes hikers. Many who live there have hiked the trail. We had dinner at the one brewery in town and caught up with others. Our table consisted of "Bonnie and Clyde" from Japan, Graham from South Africa, Susan from The Netherlands, Smiles from Germany, and Larry from Austin.

After leaving Etna, the next town was Seiad Valley, an even smaller town than Etna. It was a hot day and the last four miles into town was a road. With less than a mile to go I had to stop and rest as I was not feeling up to parr. I was surprised I had to rest until I got into town and the store clerk told me it was 110 degrees! After 25-ish miles, no wonder I was struggling. That evening we had a community dinner with the local RV park and about 20 other PCTers.

The next morning we were off to a 5800' climb out of the valley with more wonderful views of Shasta, and on our way to Oregon!


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