Date: July 13, 2017
Miles: 1632 – 1655
We had a rare day where the trail follows alongside a creek for most of the day, which is great because it cools the air a bit and provides a distraction from the endless corridor of trees and dirt. Grider Creek followed us out of the Marble Mountain wilderness today.
At one point in the morning we had to cross a narrow section of the creek. As I walked up to the rocks that I was going to hop, I saw Fluffy in the distance shaking his leg and I wondered if he got wet during the crossing somehow. I stepped onto the first flat rock in front of me and, before I even realized that the rock was covered in slippery algae, my leg shot out from underneath me, I lost my balance and landed on my butt in the middle of the creek. I looked up and noticed a couple standing on the other side, just looking at me. After I managed to get myself upright and cross over to where they were standing, they told me that they just watched Fluffy do the same thing and they decided that they would cross over some logs slightly upstream instead. I sarcastically thanked them for not saying anything as I started to cross, and then I hiked my soggy bum on up the trail.
The rest of the morning was full of creek crossings, snack breaks and small birds and grouse flying suddenly and noisily out of bushes in front of me as I walked. I eventually reached the Grider Creek campground and spent about twenty minutes wandering around looking for the connection to the trail. I circled around several times, then noticed that the trail sign was right in front of the place I first stood when I entered the campground. I left the campground and immediately took a wrong turn up a dirt road. It wasn’t really turning out to be my day.
I finally got myself pointed in the right direction and started road-walking toward Seiad Valley. A forest service employee pulled up after a while and asked if I wanted a ride the rest of the way into town, and even though the trail itself goes directly into town and a ride would mean skipping trail miles, I decided that I had had enough of the day and gladly accepted his offer.
Seiad Valley turned out to consist of just an RV Park, post office, cafe, and a grocery store with surprisingly good resupply options. I stopped at the post office to pick up new socks and insoles, then hung out with other hikers outside the cafe until it got cool enough to hike out. We went out about a mile, found a campsite and squeezed eight people into it. I accidentally set my tent up in a patch of poison oak, but was too tired to do anything about it. I went to sleep hopeful that tomorrow will be a little less eventful.