Day 116 - Etna, CA

I woke up to the company of colorfully clad individuals, some still wrapped in their down filled synthetic sheets.

A bathroom, electrical outlets, and picnic tables. Hiker heaven.

A bathroom, electrical outlets, and picnic tables. Hiker heaven.

Etna is, I think, the first town on the trail to offer their city park for hikers to camp in, and I recalled all the towns on the AT that offered similar such hospitality to their seasonal sojourners.

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I strolled through town, and met a kind old man who took it upon himself to beautify a small plot of land adjacent to Main Street. 

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It was a narrow strip of soil, sandwiched between concrete blocks, that gently nudged my awareness to the beauty and wonderment of the here and now. 

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I sipped my morning coffee at the cafe and chatted with some locals and backpackers, and then headed back to the trail with about 10 others.

We packed into a truck driven by a local news reporter who surprised us with cold beers upon our safe arrival at the trailhead.

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Refreshed and rejuvenated, we hiked on at about noon and soon entered The Marble Mountain Wilderness.

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The skies were favorable and the views reminiscent of my favorite sections on this journey. 

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<3 Will