Date: 29 Aug 2017 0858PM
Location: Etna City Park
Today's Miles: 29.0
Total Miles: 1049.7
Slow start this morning, laid about and faffed around camp, out by 0845.
Walked the twelve road miles into the town, and man was it a hot one. Broke 100 degrees and I was completely exposed, walking for on pavement so hot I could feel it through my shoes.
People are pretty interesting to watch when they see someone physically exerting themselves in the heat of the day. Many people stopped to ask if I was OK, others offered me rides. One man came back around and brought me two glass bottles, one of Perrier water, another of cabernet sauvignon. I tried to explain to him that glass is incredibly heavy and that I probably shouldn't be drinking an entire bottle of wine in this heat, but he just shook his head and told me it'll quench my thirst.
Arrived in the town of Fort Jones in early afternoon, place was dead as a door nail. All the restaurants were closed, but I did manage to find a Mexican restaurant on the far side of town that was open. They were closed for a few hours in the afternoon, but when the owner saw me sitting out front he opened back up early.
Delicious corn tortilla chips, salsa, enchiladas, chili relinaos, and glass after glass of cold water ensued. I was the only patron in the place, so the proprietor sat across from me and we chatted about what in god's name I was doing out here.
He was fascinated in the way one can only be when they're far enough removed from the trail. He's had his restaurant going for eleven years and hasn't met a single hiker. Fort Jones is /just/ removed enough from the trail that no one ever has a reason to come here. Hell, the only reason I was in his restaurant was because a fire was burning on the PCT and I decided to reroute myself this way.
He graciously comped my food and told me that I needed an nice meal before hitting he trail again. I thanked him graciously, filled up my water bottles, and walked out of town. Stopping at the grocery store on the way out to pick up a large bucket of soda and a Kozy Shack rice pudding for later.
Walked the uneventful remaining miles to Etna, stopping at a gas station for a cold Gatorade. Even as the sun was setting the hot breeze was causing me to sweat.
Made it into town and headed straight for the city park. Found a bunch of corrections officers from Los Angeles county hanging around on their time off. It appears that the corrections system in California offers certain inmates reduced sentences if they volunteer to help fight fires. This will probably be the most interesting piece of information I learn on the trail.
Corrections personnel offered me up some extra box lunches and water, which I accepted. We chatted about what we're all doing out here for a little bit as I devoured the food.
Setup my tent in some dubious dead grass. Apparently the park is extremely well watered by sprinklers, don't want to get caught up and woken up by that.
Laid in my tent snacking and relaxing. Currently watching the Dark Knight over the course of a few days in the evening, saving the last third for tomorrow.
Resupply and a hot meal tomorrow, then off I go.