INTO DUNSMUIR

PCT DAY 87: Mile 1487- Mile 1498.7

Saturday July 9, 2016:  11.7 Miles ( 18.7km)

At 4am this morning our corner of the world was peaceful and quite. Not a whisper of a breeze broke the stillness. There was just a faint distant hum of traffic from the I-5 which was about 12 miles away. 
We had breakfast and  broke camp ready to hit the trail just on 5.30am. We only had a short hike to the I-5 intersection with the trail. We were going to hitch a ride to Dunsmuir from a side road as it is illegal to hitch on the Interstate.  

Within 20minutes of hitting the trail this morning we emerged out of the deep green forest to the most stunning view of Mt Shasta and the Castle Crags bathed in the morning light. It made my heart skip a beat. It was so beautiful and so surprising after being ensconced in the shade of the forest for so long. I must have stopped to take a photo every few minutes before the trail changed directions and we started the descent to the road.

Mt Shasta

Castle Crags

Impossibly tall pines

Sacramento River

We reached the exit ramp off the I-5 about 9.30 and waited to hitch into Dunsmuir, some 4 miles away. There was hardly any traffic passing and the few cars that did, chose not to stop. We tried phoning a taxi, without any luck and soon worked out that it would be quicker to walk. One problem though, it is also illegal to walk on the freeway and to walk along the local roads was a 16 mile deviation according to Google. To reduce the walking distance, we chose to walk a small section of the freeway (not advised) and got to Crag View Dr on the outskirts of Dunsmuir. We stopped to chat to a lady out feeding her cats and she told us about a trail from the end of the road which takes you straight into town, avoiding a couple of miles of local road.  Following her advice we made our destination in Dunsmuir and were in our motel room by 11am.  The universe provided again. 

Wide shoulder on the I-5

Exit to Dunsmuir

Not a bad view from Crag View Drive

We had originally planned only to resupply in town and get back on trail the same day. But we had to attend to some matters back home which was easier to do from the comforts of a room. We stayed at the Dunsmuir Lodge, which was recommended by a reader of this blog. We loved this motel. It is old and it has it charms. It was such a refreshing change from the usual chain motel experience. And the manager was very accommodating, letting us have the room early. 
In the afternoon we walked into town to have lunch, buy food for our next leg and to do laundry. It is always interesting to see small towns in America. A little bit sad to see what must have been a vibrant community in the past now struggling to  survive. It is a lovely town with some interesting buildings. We had an excellent burger at the Brewery Restaurant in town. It was just great ingredients handled well, no frills and no fancy extras required.  It was up there with the best burger on the PCT by our standards. 

Sampling the local brew

Heritage theatre