Saturday, August 4th 2018
It’s 6:15 am. I’m in my sleeping bag in Upper Paradise Valley. I can hear the stream that hooks around the campground, as it approaches from the north, water molecules traveling west.
In our campground are more people than we have seen our whole trip. As I peer from under our tarp I can see scatters of colored tents tucked under the fir tree canopy. The air is cool. A hammock hangs near the river, and I notice as other campers begin to stir.
As we arise from our camp and get together, Rachel looks aghast at me.
For a full summary and map, check out our guide to The Big SEKI Loop.
“What’s going on with your hair?”
“What do you mean?” I say
“What do you mean, what do I mean?”
Apparently my hair is out of line.
What can I do? Seldom can I command control over my hair, especially on the trail.
After snatching a few pictures with her phone, Rachel reaches over to pat out my hair.
Today we have a plan. We will hike to the Road’s End trailhead where our car is parked. There we will get a food resupply that we stowed in a bear box. Then we will get back on the trail. That’s the plan. We will see.
I’m also imagining the flavor of a hamburger with veggies, that may be awaiting us at the grill. So, let’s see how this goes.
Several hours later…
Okay, so we made it to the car, and the food cache. As we approached the trailhead, our noses started to twitch with the strong scent of well groomed day hiker’s deodorant and detergent. Rachel and I look at each other, and question how we must smell to them.
It reminds me of a year ago when Rachel and I hiked across the Olympics. At the end we hitched a ride with a nice older man and his son. It was a warm sunny day, and I rolled down my window, lifting my elbow up on to the arm rest. Rachel reached over to remind me that breeze running under my arms was probably only satisfying to me. Oh right, whoops. Thanks for the ride… I’ll close my arm pits.
After returning to our car we decide there are a few additional supplies we’d like to stock up on. So, we hop in our car and set out to drive the windy road outside of King’s Canyon.
When we arrive to the visitor center, and grocery store we cannot deny the luster of the local restaurant and indulge ourselves for lunch. Mmmm, hamburger, and Root Beer. Two things I never eat. But we need the calories, right?
At the grocery store I toss a bag of sour candy into Rachel’s resupply stash sitting on the checkout. I need the calories, right?
Evening in Civilization
After our resupply, and my sugar binge we decide that it’s a little too late in the day to set out on the trail and make it very far. So, we find ourselves a car camping spot, cook ourselves some beans and quinoa, then fall asleep under the stars.
Today was a nice day. Even though we returned to civilization, we had a good time. Tomorrow we will return into the wild. For now I enjoy the moment, my full stomach, and a splendid view of the stars.