Day 72: Into Etna
From mile 1575.6 to Sawyers Bar Road mile 1597.2 (Road to Etna)
21.6 miles today. Beautiful mountains. Very rocky, especially at the tops. Down a little lower sections of dense pine alternating with rocky scrub areas.
I was driven to get to Etna today but I did not make good time for some reason. At 3:30 I was almost at the top of the last climb of the day with about 4 miles to the road to Etna. I reached a high saddle that had visibility forever and had cell service. I was able to have a nice call with Gayle.
I hit the road just before 6. A few minutes later Spider Bite, 20 something young Asian gorl from Michigan, rolled in. The road is paved but is a mountain road. 15 minutes later the first car to pass picked us up.
The motel in town is full. It is a half mile walk to the hostel so Spider Bite and I had dinner first at the Etna Brew Pub. While we were there a guy at the next table introduced himself as the police chief. He gave us his number and said if we had any problem finding accommodations for the night to call him and he would find us a place to stay. He also told us we should check out the new brew pub in town.
Walking to the hostel we passed the new pub and stopped in. The hikers were here. I chatted with two ladies who were volunteers at the hostel and when they heard my name they said they knew of me. It seems that Randy had hitched here from somewhere south and was looking for me. One of the ladies had driven him to an airport earlier today.
I am now at the hostel and showered. I have an upper bunk which is a real challenge for me. For $25 you can’t be too picky I guess. I plan to take tomorrow off.