Whatever smoke there had been the night before had cleared out of the canyon, but I could still see something billowing out of the west. Clouds? Smoke? I figured I’d find out more in town.
I had 8 miles to walk into Paisley where I planned to spend the night. I had both biked and packrafted this section before along the Chewaucan River, and think it’s one of the loveliest canyons around. There are plenty of camp spots along the river, and the fall colors gave everything a shiny edge to it.
It was a quiet morning and was passed by a few campers and trailers. Closer to town I passed the site of the Withers fire which had scorched a section of the canyon.
Towns are really pretty close in this section…I would never have to carry more than 3 days of food, what a luxury!
I had been to Paisley a bunch of times this year, and was looking forward to the stay. It’s a small town, and everything a hiker would need is just a few blocks from eachother. I would be staying at the Sage Rooms hotel, but another option would be the Summer Lake Hotsprings just 6 miles north of town. There are beautiful cabins you can rent with radiant floor heating, or you can camp…and soak of course! I’ve done both before and wanted to try out the Sage Rooms and experience all the options.
I walked into town and headed to the Homestead Cafe where I polished off a chicken friend steak. Next I headed over to the Paisley Mercantile to pick up a package with the next section of maps I had dropped off when I was caching water. Ralph, the owner, is very helpful, and set up Nikki & Adrian with a place to park their car since they need to take a few days off from the trail to go to a wedding.
Apparently no one knew anything about a fire, and it was suggested it might have been a huge dust storm from Summer Lake. I was doubtful since I had smelled fire, but couldn’t find anything online about it either. Strange.
I walked across the street to the park where I sat in the sun and chatted with my good friend Allgood for a while. He had just finished his CDT thru-hike this year. I took him to the CDT kickoff this spring and passed on the CDTC ambassadorship to him after my hike last year. It was great to hear his stories, and also talk about the gathering coming up next week where I’ll be getting my triple crown!
Next up was the Pioneer Saloon where I had a beer and just happened to meet Terry, an ONDA member who will be on a stewardship trip with me in a few weeks! We talked trail, and also had the attention of some endurance motorcyclists riding dirt roads across the desert. John the owner of the Saloon, and Ralph at the Mercantile, have hung ODT posters up, and it was awesome to see the recognition of folks in town…oh, you’re hiking the trail!
I then headed over to my room, a cozy and spacious spot. After a shower I went back to the store and rented a few movies to watch on the DVD player in my room.
A pizza at the Saloon later, and I was ready to call it a night. What a great stay. Tomorrow, town chores.