PCT DAY 93: Mile 1615.6 – Mile 1639.2

Friday July 15, 2016: 23.6 miles (37.8 km)

This morning we continued to hike through the burn area until the descent to Marble Valley. It was wonderful to hike through healthy forest and reach a lush green meadow after what seemed like a long time in craggy, rocky landscape or burnt forest. It was like a breath of fresh air.  We climbed out of the valley and spent the rest of the morning winding our way along flower filled meadows cascading down the mountainside. It was just so pleasant. The sound of industrious bees buzzing around the flowers was our  background mood music today.

Paradise Lake was our lunchtime destination  We had just put our packs down when a couple of overly friendly chipmunks came out of the woodwork. Had to keep an eye  on them as they were trying to get inside the packs.  Not sure what it would be like to camp here overnight?

The sun was our in full force as we started the slow descent towards Seiad Valley.  The valley is at an elevation of just under 1,400 feet. As we wound our way down to the Grinder River it was like descending into a sauna. The trail was lined with wild raspberries and blackberries which were still not fully ripe. It must be a heavenly scent to hike through here when the berries are fully ripe. Lucky hikers coming through in a couple of weeks, they will have a feast. The warm air,  the slow downhill hiking and the rhythmic sound of our feet hitting the ground was making me feel drowsy. I am sure I had a few microsleeps. All I could think of was lying down and going to sleep.  It was a strange sensation.  I did not feel tired but I just needed to sleep. 

Hammer was setting a cracking pace to get us to our campsite as soon as possible. Just before reaching our campsite we passed a southbound hiker heading to Campo,  on the Mexican border. He started in Ashland and look so shiny and new.  I can’t believe that we also must have looked like that 3 months ago.
We reached our campsite  relatively early. Withing minutes of landing in my sleeping bag I was asleep. Hammer stayed up reading. He has been a solid rock for me, the whole hike really,  but even more so since the ankle injury.