Monday, July 24, 2017
PCT 13 - Oregon Ho! - Seiad Valley to Callahan's - 63 PCT miles
The climb out of Seiad Valley is steep, with about 4,000 feet of elevation gained in the first 10 miles. The main consolation to all this climbing comes in the form of cooler weather as the elevation increases. The weather was so hot in Seiad Valley that I waited until 4 pm to get back on trail, and just hiked up over 4 miles before camping in a tiny flat spot that was advertised as having room for three tents, which seemed to me a very generous estimate.
The trail was surprisingly empty as some hikers had found rides past the main climb, skipping about a day of tough hiking. While this type of skip doesn't appeal to me, it's fairly common as a way to speed up a long hike without really missing the most dramatic parts of the trail. In the end everyone has the experience that they chose; there aren't really any rules about how to do the hike.
The main drama of this section was crossing over from California to Oregon. In a way this sounds like an arbitrary shift, but on the ground there really is a change with more water, greener forests, and smoother trails.
Right now I'm luxuriating in the comfort of the dining room at Callahan's, which is a hotel near the PCT and also close to Ashland. Life is good. I'm going to pitch my tent on their back lawn and get back on trail first thing in the morning.
Here are the photos for this section: https://photos.app.goo.gl/aFGkb7tghCyBNtwr1