Thursday, June 14, 2018 – 8.80 miles
Mailing resupply packages and mucking around delayed me this morning. On the road out of town, I was joined by a lovely couple hiking the Bigfoot Trail, which shares some trail with the PCT. They wheedled a ride for us in the back of a truck whose driver had only stopped to say he had no room. During the drive to Etna Summit, they told me that the Bigfoot Trail was designed to highlight the region’s diverse conifers and the name is more just to garner attention, though the area is known for being a Bigfoot hotspot and even hosts Bigfoot conventions. Those got put on my bucket list so fast.
I hopped off at the trailhead and started out. After a short stretch of nice scenery, the trail entered a hideous burn area. The breeze was carrying the scent of charcoal and sections had no vegetation at all, just black trees and ochre pine needles that did have a macabre kind of beauty that I found difficult to appreciate.
I met an odd SOBO hiker who kept contradicting himself on what his plans were, but he seemed harmless enough and we exchanged information about trail conditions. I asked him how long the burn area was. He said that it continued on and off for a long time and the trail was closed for 100 miles north of Etna last year. Really?? I read some 2017 journals but didn’t note the closures.
I was planning to get water at Bear Spring, but first I missed the junction, then I lost the side trail, then I gave up in irritation. Despite not having an excess of water, I decided to dry camp after nine miles or so when I found a clean campsite in the land of black rubble.