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81 — Hitching Around the Burn

81 — Hitching Around the Burn

Strider Jul 26th, 2022
Strider's 2021 PCT Thru-Hike

0 miles hiked Miles 1192.7–1331.3 hitched around (138.6 miles)

Rose: the feel of cool city park grass after finally getting a hitch to Quincy Thorn: Beans losing all faith in hitching after two hours and a hitch only 5 miles down the road Bud: halfway marker tomorrow and some slack packing

We spent all day hitching around the burn section. We woke up in our little road pull out to blue skies. The wind had shifted and we were out of most of the smoke. We walked to town for Beans to pick up her resupply and Ursack from the Post Office at 10am.

We had our signs out for hitching north to “Sierraville, Quincy, Chester” by 11:15am. Gandalf and ATF, who had the same idea, joined our hitching at noon. I was a little concerned about their joining us, because a larger group would make hitching harder. Beans was frustrated and bought us expensive strawberry milkshakes from the cursed general store.

The only offer we had came at 1:30 to take Beans and me five minutes up the road where the highway diverged. This is where Beans really lost all faith in hitching. She was questioning what we were doing, where we were going, if we were hitching in the correct direction. Thankfully I kept my thumb and sign out. A chatty man from the Sierra City public bathrooms yesterday pulled over and offered us a ride to his destination of Quincy. Although the guy was a little odd, we didn’t get bad vibes, so we took the hitch, alternating engaging him in conversation.

In Quincy, he let us off at the public park where we lounged in the beautiful manicured grass and shade. It had been hot all day. After a brief respite, we meandered down the old town street, collected free ice cream for PCTers from the Quincy Toy Shore, and made our way to Round Table for pizza.

At 5pm we caught the free public bus from Quincy to Chester. ATF and Gandalf were aboard the bus. They had managed hitches too. The bus route meanders through two burn scars. The burn was huge and devistating. It came so close to houses and ranches. It burned down entire towns that the bus now moves through. There is nothing left of Greensville except wood chips.

In Chester, we made our way to the Chester Park where they allow hikers to camp. It truely felt vagrant-y to cowboy camp on the basketball courts. The comments on Far Out warned that the sprinklers come on at 2am, and there was a list of the sleeping spots safe from the water. The community stage seemed very crowded, so Beans and I moved to the basketball courts while ATF and Gandalf moved to the baseball field dugouts. All of our electronics were crammed into the limited outlets on the community stage. Although Chester citizens still came to enjoy the park, they did not seem to mind our vagrant loitering. If anything, they seemed amused at it. Truely a unique experience.

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