Friday, January 10, 2020

Day 33: The Republic Entrance #3

August 17: I had named the roads into the town of Republic Road A, Road B, and Road C. I didn't know the names of the three highways leading into town and gave them these generic names so Amanda and I could communicate better. "Pick me up at Road A" (the first major road the trail crossed that leads into Republic). Which led to confusion at first because Amanda thought those were the actual names of the road and couldn't figure out where the trail crossed a road named A.

Then it took two days to walk from Road A to Road B.


But today, I planned to walk from Road B to Road C in a single day. The trail makes a wide loop around the town of Republic, making a box shape with an open top and Republic in the middle, and there were three highways I'd cross, one each to the east, south and west of Republic that would be easy for Amanda to drive out and pick me up. There were gravel roads I'd cross, but we didn't know the condition of those roads or if Amanda's vehicle could make it so we didn't want to rely on those so much. And... less driving if she could pick me up at the major road crossings. Less of a drive to town, and less of a drive back from town.

But the distance from Road B to Road C this time was 27 miles--by far the longest day I planned to do so far for this hike. But I had two advantages working in my favor: (1) it was almost entirely over relatively flat and easy gravel roads and (2) I was going to slackpack it so my pack would be nothing more than a day pack. I could do this!


But I definitely needed an early start. We woke up early and Amanda drove me back to 10-Mile Camp on Road B where I had finished hiking yesterday then, presumably, drove back to the hotel to go back to sleep. It was 6:30am when she dropped me off! Even if she wanted to go out and do something (like fossil hunting), nothing was open yet anyhow.

The first 2.2 miles climbed a steep trail out of the canyon bottom that Road B followed--then leveled out and came to a trailhead at a gravel road. It was the most difficult part of the day's hike. The rest of the day, the trail was flat-ish. A few short miles were on paved road, but the rest was on gravel and only about 5 vehicles passed me the entire day. As far as road walking went, it wasn't bad.

The first 2.2 miles of the day were actual trail. Then it would be road walks the rest of the day!

I made good time and by noon, I had clocked in 15 miles. The weather was perfect--clear and warm (but not particularly hot). Lots of trees on the side of the road provided shade when I wanted it. Kind of boring, but I'd take boring over bad!

I took a couple of half-hour breaks along the way--I certainly wasn't going to knock off 27 miles without a couple of rest breaks along the way! One of them was 6.5 miles from Road C. I threw out my groundsheet on the side of the road and laid down in the shade for a much needed rest and was eating some snacks when Amanda pulled up in her car.

It felt a little awkward.... Here I was, supposed to be hiking, and I felt like she caught me in a compromising position laying down on the side of the road.

"So this is what you call... hiking?" I imagined her saying as she stepped out of the vehicle.

She didn't say that, of course, but I'm sure she was thinking it. ;o)

She provided me a cold Coke and a white chocolate KitKat which I gobbled down. Luxury on the trail! But I still had 6.5 miles to knock out and eventually got up and pushed onward. Amanda said she'd drive down the road to meet me and I suggested somewhere about halfway between here and Road C. I'd probably need to stop for another break and I had about two more hours of hiking left. So I planned to take another rest about an hour from now--roughly at the halfway mark.


Amanda drove off and I continued hiking.

I caught up with Amanda about an hour later. Her car's odometer had clocked in 3.3 miles and I stopped for another short break before setting off again for Road C.

Another hour later, I arrived at Road C after having completed 27.3 miles according to my GPS--shattering my previous longest day by 3.2 miles. But, to be fair, today was certainly not my most difficult day on the trail. Nor was it the day I took the most steps. In fact, my pedometer had counted four other days where I took more steps than I did today which just goes to show how easy today's hiking was. I could take long, fast strides almost the entire day today.

It was a short drive back to Republic. Republic was turning into my home away from home! Five consecutive days in a row I'd be in Republic.... and I wasn't even done with the town yet!

For dinner, we thought we'd try the last restaurant in town that we hadn't eaten at yet: the Republic Pizza Company. The place was hopping with business and the wait for our pizza seemed to take forever. Probably about an hour in total, but I hadn't checked the time when we ordered so I couldn't be certain exactly how long we had to wait. It was long enough, however, that had I realized how long the wait would be, I would have gone back to the hotel to shower and clean up then come back later.

The pizza was good, though, and afterwards when we got back to the hotel I decided to take a bath--something I almost never do but felt I really needed just to relax.


Just more things to worry about on the trail--cancer! =)
There were a couple of miles of paved road to walk on. This is where it started.
Obstacles on the trail!
And back to gravel. Yeah!


I was a little amused about the "no chainsaws after 1pm" sign. I hadn't seen rules like that before! How many forest fires can be traced back to someone using a chainsaw after 1:00pm? Does that happen often?!

There were a couple of snakes sunning themselves on the road along the way.

Amanda set up this chair with a Coke for my last break of the day. I was really roughing it! =)
Road C (Highway 20) marked the end of today's hike. Then it was time to go back to Republic!

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