Day 155 (Sept. 22): PCT Mile 1,195.4 – 1,190.7

A Downie Soft Day

Beginning Elevation = 4,550
Ending Elevation = 5,300
Weather: Mix of sun and clouds, high 70°F

The power was still out in the morning. I was up around 6:45am, but I hung out on my porch bed until around 7:55am. I slept like a rock out there and it wasn’t bad waking up to the stream cascading down below either. Cheer and Calzone were still snoozing it seemed so I took a walk into town with the goal of investigating the power outage situation for the breakfast joints.

This really didn’t take long since Sierra City is so small. I walked just a very short ways to the Red Moose Cafe where the owner was chatting outside with another local. I didn’t want to interrupt, so just sat at one of the other chairs taking in the morning. I could see already that his place nor any of the other places along the main drag had power. Soon, I was brought into the conversation though and I learned that the Sierra Pines Resort, just out of town a short walk planned to “try” making breakfast without power. Not sure how that would work…in my mind I was envisioning chefs in the kitchen with headlamps on. However they planned to do it, I was on board!

I returned to the River Haven with my scouting report and after a bit, the three of us started our walk to breakfast. It was farther out of town than I’d expected and I worried that I was leading Calzone and Cheer on a wild goose chase. But then the smell of bacon wafted our way and all my fears drifted away. It wasn’t a myth! Breakfast would be served on this fine Sunday morning!

It was phenomenal. We found our new friend, Comet, who we’d dined with last night and sat with him. The place was brightened just by sunlight coming in from the many windows it had. Even so, it was pretty dark. And by the time we left, it was pretty much full of patrons. Our breakfast conversation was bountiful and we ventured into the topic of the Enneagram. I still don’t get it entirely, but turns out, we might be just a couple of nines.

Our host had provided us with some “loaner clothes” while we did our laundry, so we were looking fresh at breakfast…

Following our meal, we walked back to town and began packing up. The power finally came back on around 11:00am right in the middle of us packing our things. Prior to us leaving, our host Susan asked if she could take some photos. She told us that one of her former jobs had been taking pictures of folks at a ski resort and loved doing it, and she wanted to make sure we had some nice photos of ourselves while on our journey. So, thanks for making me appear sharp Susan…

A little after noon, we walked out to the road and began our attempt to hitch to the town of Downieville, CA further away from the trail. Almost immediately a guy called out to us and asked if we were headed “down” the mountain. Indeed we were apparently, and so we hopped in Chris’ 15 passenger van.

Chris was a charismatic guy full of stories and energy. During our journey we learned this area is big for mountain biking enthusiasts and he actually works for a company that shuttles bikers from Downieville up to a trailhead a couple thousand feet higher in elevation. When we arrived in Downieville, we understood how big of a thing the biking scene was. Bikers were everywhere. I guess the main trail that folks flock to this area to ride has its end right in the town, and so every so often a group would come cruising through the main street looking exhilarated having just finished their trip.

Calzone did her food shopping right there at the Downieville Grocery Store and Cheer and I couldn’t resist getting some tasty treats as well. It had everything we needed! The girls did a bit of porch sitting outside the store while I did my second scouting mission of the day, this time in search of a lunch spot. There were 3 options in town and we opted to go for sandwiches from Sabrina’s at the Forks, a small little shop within a mountain biking gear and repair shop…

If you haven’t felt it already, we were in a bit of a relaxed mood today. We spent a good while at the tables back there using some WiFi to download music and podcasts and finish any other phone related tasks. The staff here were great and they even gave us each a little pour over coffee to try out on trail. Eventually, we made our way back to the highway to try and hitch.

It took us a while and I had to bring out my special moves to get us a ride…

After a while, we finally got a ride. A super nice lady was traveling through on her way to a favorite family camping spot. Once at the trailhead, we got up our motivation up and went for the ole 4:51 pm start. Not one or our particularly fav. start times, although we had a lovely time in town today, which was needed. Plus, we talked about just making 5 miles or so rather than the original 10 miles we’d initially planned to do.

And so we set off south towards South Lake Tahoe, a section of around 105 miles. Here’s some snapshots of the evening trek. We got turned around once, but managed to get back on trail quickly enough.

Our campsite was adjacent to Milton Creek (not the one above). Water and flat spots = nice tenting. It was once again a set up just prior to dark and cook/eat with our headlamps on while sitting in the dark. We stayed up chatting pretty late for our typical hiker ways. This would turn out to be the trend for the next few days, which made my writing take a back seat. Some nice chats though and I wouldn’t take that away!

2 thoughts on “Day 155 (Sept. 22): PCT Mile 1,195.4 – 1,190.7

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