I like to believe we’ve been hiking in the State of Jefferson for a while. Which means that technically the PCT goes thru four states. Even if one is mythical.
You hear stories on the trail about PCT hikers stopping in a town, and never leaving. Eventually they blend in with the local population.
If there were a town I would blend into. I would choose Etna.
Primarily because they have an old fashioned soda fountain inside their pharmacy.
I firmly believe that every pharmacy should have an old fashioned soda fountain.
All the businesses in Etna are along one main street. And that is the total of the town. They have a hardware store, a couple cafes, a theater, a grocery store around the corner, and a brew pub. A brew pub that comes highly recommended by thru hikers.
The town is surrounded by farms and Victorian style houses.
It is a place where everyone knows each other. Authentic small town America.
We stayed the night at the Hiker Hut, and made ourselves leave the next morning (even after biking over to Bob’s Ranch House for an amazing breakfast.) It was tempting to let the food coma take over and stay for another day, but we were determined to keep moving. Oregon is so close. You can almost see it. You can almost smell the change in the air (but maybe that’s just the aroma of late summer).
The Marble Mountains are our next stretch. 55 more miles in California. (The last 55 miles that are open for us to hike that is).
For just a moment, I considered staying. I hear they’re hiring at the pub. But then my legs took over and said ‘let’s move’.
And I agreed, and returned to the mountains.