Day 88 – 7/18/16
Paynes Lake 1591.47 to Sawyers Bar road 1597.25
Total miles: 5.78
Last night was horrible. I might have gotten an hour of sleep. My back was pulsing with pain all night. I packed up my stuff at 5:20 and was gone by 5:40. I had less than 6 miles to the road into Etna. As I was hiking I made my decision. My back and feet were in too much pain and I was starting to worry about causing permanent damage. I decided I would go home for a couple weeks and then hop back on the trail at Bend, Or with my friend on August third.
I came to a saddle and checked if I had service. I talked to my mom and told her my plan. I would get to Etna and stay the night and then make my way to Medford the next day to fly home to Phoenix. I was a little sad. I don’t want to get off the trail. I wanted to hike to Canada and having to skip 400 miles seems like I’m failing at my goal. But I have to do what is right for my body and I was worried that I might cause more problems if I kept on hiking.
I got to the road and there where a bunch of people on bikes getting ready for a ride and a couple vans with trailers that would follow behind. I quickly hiked my way over to them and asked if they were going in to Etna. Unfortunately they were going the other direction. Dang. I set my pack down and waited for about 30 minutes for a car to pass. The first one was a work truck. No dice. About 15 minutes later a black SUV pulled off. I asked if she was going into Etna and she said she was. She said “I’m a smoker, is that a problem?” I told her a ride is a ride. I got in and didn’t smell any smoke. The road is a winding road and took about 20 minutes to go 11 miles.
She dropped me off at the Hiker Hut hostel and it was just a small building with 4 bunks. I wanted my own room do I walked the mile through the small main street of Etna to the Etna Motel. The owners were at breakfast and after about 15 minutes a lady pulls up in an off road golf cart and gets me a room. I take a shower and start looking at how to get to Medford. Google directions fails me and says 20 hours. I figure out that there is a greyhound from Weed, CA to Medford. I figure out there is a bus to Yreka and then down to Weed. Unfortunately the timing of busses, greyhound, and flights would make it a two day process. Although I figure out I could get to Weed today and then Medford tomorrow for a flight out. I go up to the office and ask the lady if I could cancel and give her $10 for the shower. She gives me a refund and I gather up my stuff and head over to where the bus stop was and find some lunch. I stop at a cafe and get a turkey sandwich. I had a couple hours to kill so I charged up my dying phone in the cafe. About 20 minutes before the bus was scheduled I walked over and sat on a bench.
I get to Yreka and missed the bus to Weed by about 5 minutes. The next one is in an hour. I walk over to McDonald’s to charge my phone. I get a large chocolate shake. Yum! I walk back over and wait for the bus. Lots of weirdos here. The bus comes and I ask which stop I need for getting to the HI Lo cafe which has a motel and there is another across the street.
The bus ride is about an hour and the driver drops me off close to where I need to be. I walk across the street to the motel and get a room. I bought my bus and plane tickets for tomorrow and then went across to the Hi Lo cafe for dinner. I got a pretty tasty burger and some sweet potato fries. I went back to my room and vegetated in bed watching TV trying not to think about how I am off trail.