Day 73 | mile 1470.9 - 1501.2 | 30.3 miles

Woke up at 5. It smelled smoky. I thought it was from my fire last night. Made an oatmeal supreme with banana and brownie crumbs. (The brownie leftovers from South Lake Tahoe. Almost 500 miles ago. Whoa.)

Cheap was eating breakfast when I left at 6:10. I read there was a lot of poison oak, so I wore my wind pants just in case. There was a lot of poison oak. It’s like navigating a laser security system in bank heist movies. Your brain has to do a lot of processing very fast to comb through and identify all the different green things you are walking through as poison oak or not.

It’s smoky from the big fire on the CA/OR border, not my fire. Super hazy.

Listened to a Kropp och Själ episode about Marie Curie. Learned a bunch of new words and about the first female recipient of the Nobel prize. Win win.

The trail is really frustrating right now. I really liked it when i was going pretty much exclusively North. It’s a mess now. West, Southwest, South. Agh. I’m walking but not getting very far.

Getting to town today, but couldn’t decide which. Castella, Dunsmuir, Mount Shasta, Weed are my options. Castella is the closest but doesn’t have a hotel. I’d stay at the campground. I wouldn’t even mind but I read the showers don’t get hot, and there are no towels. I had reception so I was looking at hotels in Dunsmuir while hiking. Called 3. 2 didn’t have laundry facilities and the one that did doesn’t have availability. Bleh. Should’ve planned bette.

Ran out of steam 25-ish miles in. I was trying to knock out 30 miles to town quickly. No breaks today. I was dragging the last 5. Sleepy, tired feet, hot. To make matters worse, I poured cold water on my neck to cool down and drowned my poor phone with it. I was so mad at myself. I turned it off and didn’t allow myself to look at the map to see how close/far I was more than once an hour.

A sweet lady, Martha, gave me a ride to Dunsmuir after waiting at the I-5 exit for 15 minutes. She used to be a modern dance and jazz dancer. So cool. She was telling me all these stories on the short ride to Dunsmuir, and gave me a tour once got here. It is so long for such a small town: 2 blocks wide and 9 miles long. Agh. Hiker’s nightmare.

Martha recommended this hotel called Cave Springs. It was on the north end of town, so I was kind of hesitant to go for it. But since I didn’t really have anything else in mind I said ok. It wasn’t one of the options when I was looking for accommodations, but it turned out it was the cheapest. $72 with tax.

Wow. This place is crazy. This tiny cabin was clearly built without electricity and plumbing in mind. It’s objectively terrible and yet I’d stay here again. It was so cute!

No shampoo. Louis (the owner) hooked me up with some, and a bottle of conditioner he had in his own home. Yay! I soaked all my socks in the tiny sink and jumped in the comically terrible shower.

Louis said he could do my laundry I his hotel washer/dryer. We loaded the washer at 7. He said the grocery store closed at 8, so I hurried over there to resupply.

My feet were hurting and I was wearing a rain jacket, my Sierra long underwear, and thick wool socks in 85 degree weather. It was a mile to the store and I just kept thinking “why am I here????”

Asked for a ride at the gas station and got one after a couple tries from this girl named Allora. She goes to Chico and works at the Lake Shasta marina. She wasn’t even going my way, but she gave me a ride anyway.

Things are going well. Oh, guess what! The store is closed. They close at 7 on Sundays. Fuuuuck. So, now I don’t have my resupply and I’m a mile away from my hotel. Fuck it, I’m getting pizza.

Please, may I have a trip to the (surprisingly good) salad bar, a medium pizza, and this small ice cream bucket? And do you guys do delivery? Great! Can this pizza and I be delivered to Cove Springs hotel?

A local railroad worker named Christopher also does pizza delivery. He dropped me off. I offered Louis a slice. He took one. He started pulling out the laundry when he exclaimed, “oh! It’s not clean. I forgot to start it!”

This town is really something. I ate all but one slice, then the whole bucket of ice cream while importing and uploading pictures. Talked to Alex while falling asleep.

Mustered just enough energy to go and talk to Louis’ wife - Belinda. The laundry was news to her. I pulled out my clothes from the mess of rags they were getting washed with. Hung everything up in my room and went to sleep.