September 17, 2016
Bushcamp (mile 1180.4) to Hwy 49 (mile 1195.4)
Our total miles: 2552.7
We woke up at 5:30 while it was still dark. Lately, Andy has been really good at rallying.
Once Laurie woke him up he deflated his sleeping pad and started packing. Laurie, on the other hand, stayed in her sleeping bag as long as possible.
We started walking at 6:30. It was a warm, still morning. We continued along the ridge, walking toward the full moon. The sun rose behind us and we caught glimpses of gold light on mountains through the trees.
We dropped down, past old logging roads. At each creek crossing the temperature seemed to drop at least 10 degrees. We walked on, accompanied by the hum of bees all around.
Just before noon we reached the bridge at Haypress Creek. We took a sharp left before the bridge and walked to West Plum Road and eventually through the campground, residential community of Haypress and along Highway 49 to Sierra City.
Sierra City is a small town of 225 people. The General Store in town has the reputation of having the best burgers and milkshakes along the entire trail.
Laurie woke up excited for a milkshake. Perhaps that was the only thing, other than the need to pee, that got her out of her sleeping bag this morning.
We got to the general store at 12:30 and were greatly disappointed to see a closed sign taped on the deli counter.
No burgers. No milkshakes.
There was an event in town and the store’s employees were working the event.
“It’s okay, I can deal with the disappointment.” Laurie said to Andy. “I can make a root beer float.”
As we wandered around the store looking at ice cream options we noticed a pile of resupply boxes at the back of the store.
Laurie asked the owner where we could find our resupply boxes and he motioned to the pile we had seen moments before.
We returned and sorted through many mangled boxes but didn’t see any with smiley faces on them (Andy placed smiley face stickers on all of our boxes to make them easier to locate). Is it possible they weren’t there?
We had been so fortunate thus far. Every box had arrived in good shape and with no hassle. It felt inevitable to Laurie that at least two of the 64 boxes that we shipped would get misplaced.
We continued to search for our boxes, hoping we missed them. Behind and at the bottom of one pile was a box from Laurie’s friend. Thank you Carey!
But still no sign of our resupply boxes. Laurie sat down, tore open the box from her friend and drowned her growing disappointment and hunger with lychee gummies and ginger candies.
We got in touch with Andy’s dad who looked up the USPS tracking numbers. One box was in Reno. The other one was apparently sitting at the Post Office next door. But the Post Office was closed.
Why didn’t they deliver our package next door to the store like they were supposed to?
We were frustrated, hungry and disappointed. We looked around at the shelves and realized that unless we wanted to live on ramen, Idahoans and Knorr sides we couldn’t resupply here.
We sat at the dinner table randomly located at the end of the store near all the wine and came up with a plan.
Our friends Jeff and Chris were coming to meet us for the night and we asked them to make a grocery run for us.
We sent a shopping list and spent the next 2 hours charging our electronics and working on blog posts while sitting on the floor in the air conditioned store.
It was really hot out!
Andy spoke with the owner of the general store who said that although they are located next door to the Post Office, boxes sometimes get lost.
He offered to go over on Monday and return the one box to the sender. The one in Reno we would have to call about.
Andy thanked him.
Laurie asked (half joking) if we could run the deli for them. He said that if no one had arrived by 3, he would cook for us.
Around 2pm Laurie smelled fried goodness. They were not quite ready for business but they graciously took our order.
Unfortunately they had only pineapple in the soft serve machine (a request for the party). Pineapple milkshake would not be our first choice but we had heard so many wonderful things about these milkshakes we had to try it.
When we finally got our food 45 minutes later we were so hungry it was hard to savor it.
Sadly, neither the milkshake nor the burgers were as good as advertised. The cheese was burned to a crisp on the edges and the fries were very bland.
Perhaps this was because they weren’t fully operational today but the food at the general store was not “the best on trail.”
At least for us.
It seems that the larger the expectation the greater the risk of disappointment.
Nonetheless, we were very grateful that they made an exception for us, and cooked for us. Many hikers that were there since that morning weren’t as fortunate.
We went outside for better wifi in attempt to upload some posts. The heat felt oppressive. Maybe it was just the contrast from sitting in air conditioning.
Jeff and Chris pulled up around 4:30. We drove 45 minutes down a twisty road to a beautiful valley. Located in this gorgeous valley amongst the cows and farms was Sierra Hot Springs.
We shared an idealic evening together – soaking in the hot springs, eating scrumptious food, talking and relaxing.
Jeff has been reading our blog and knew how much we love salad, so he brought 3 kinds of salad and a pie!!
Thank you Jeff and Chris for turning our day around. Spending time together helped wash away our frustrations and disappointments.
We left our quaint dinner area near the fountain and made our way to our tents as the moon began to rise.
We will sleep well tonight.
Tonight we are grateful for warm spring water to ease our aches and pains and visits from good friends.