In Etna, CA!

I’m now in Etna, CA- mile 1606. Less than 100 miles of California left! Wow!! Got caught in a huge hailstorm (marble sized!) for an hour and a half a few days ago. Soaking wet, cold, and nowhere to hide. It’s been extremely hot (and surprisingly humid!) these past 2 weeks. The locals haven’t seen anything like it. It’s a big fire year, too. There is one currently happening around Crater Lake where I am headed.
Yesterday, I saw my friend Fun Size again. I didn’t know where he was since about mile 1380. (He hikes really big miles, really quickly- his pack is twice as light as mine- but when he stops in town, he takes a lot more rest than I do). Anyway, we rode bikes down to the other end of town to get some food. That was a huge deal for me. I hadn’t been on a bike since I flew over the handlebars of mine when I was about 12. I really wanted to walk, but he said he would be finished with his milkshake by the time I got there! So, I mustered up enough courage and got on. It was terrifying, but so fun!!
I wanted to do some writing while I was here, but the time just flies by and there is not enough time to do everything!! It is 7am and I can’t believe that all of the thruhikers are still sleeping! I want to be sleeping, too, and I really wish I could have some rest today, but I have to keep going. This is a lovely place.

Oh- a bear and I almost ran into each other at 7:50 pm two nights ago! It was so cute! I bypassed the last sure campspot because I wanted to hike until 8. Things were not looking good… There were boulders everywhere and no possible places. I bushwhacked down off the trail, but still couldn’t find anything, so I headed back to the trail and thought I might have to night hike up and over the mountain. However, at 8:20, I reached an opening in the climb, found a flat sandy spot, and was able to watch a beautiful sunset! I couldn’t believe how one minute, my night was going to be a really bad one, and 25 minutes later, everything was wonderful!

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