Given our roadside campspot, it was only a good hours walk into Seiad Valley in the morning. We arrived at the cafe before it opened so we sat on the sidewalk for a while, using the WiFi.
We enjoyed a nice breakfast soon after, while being entertained by Mousetrap trying the 5 pound pancake challenge. And facing horribly, making it as far as one and a half pancakes out of five total.
We planned on taking the 8h23 bus to Ashland due to a fire closure, but the trail reopened the previous evening. We already had ourhotel booked though as the trail was very likely to still be closed at this point. I called the hotel and luckily they didn't mind moving our reservation two days at no charge. After a small resupply we were now all set to walk to the state border into Oregon and Ashland
We enjoy a milkshake sitting at the counter before hiking out around noon. We ran into Charles - remember our trip to Weed? - who is supervising the widening of a bridge right by the cafe and stopped for a little talk and thanking him again for the great hospitality.
It was 98F and smoke was everywhere. Great conditions to start a 6000 feet climb out of the valley. No need to mention it was a rough climb. But there, I mentioned it anyway. A few hours in we took a long water break. We all felt pretty miserable and we only did 5. miles. At least the steepest part of the climb is over. Good thing we had hot chocolate and fresh berries to cheer our mood during dinner. Our last Californian dinner with only 21 miles in this state left.
On a side note the zipper of my tent is now completely useless. It broke a long time ago when camping at the VVR ferry landing and it got progressively worse ever since. Given I also seemed to have left my tentstakes at the previous camp spot, it might be time to replace it completely.