Somewhere on the Kelsey Trail, somewhere near the PCT
Coming into Etna we knew we had another active fire and detour ahead of us, due to the July, White and Coffee fires. Initially miles 1586-1606 of the PCT were closed, but that was then changed to miles 1566-1606 as the fires continued to burn.
Then when Think Fast, Goosebumps, SpaceAge, Giggles and Zero tried to get out this morning to Etna Summit, the road was closed and local authorities would not let them through to get to the trailhead, yet we were told the PCT was still open.
After several hours of research and many phone calls later, we found out the the trail would be extending it's closure beyond mile 1606, but not with exact milage or numbers given. There were several side trails further north that we could access via backcountry roads that would intersect with the PCT past the fires and closures. Trail angel and PCT 2013 alum, Lionheart agreed to take us out to one of these trailheads to get back to the PCT. We all agreed to be ready to go at 3pm. By the time we rolled it was 4pm and we all piled into Lionhearts truck.
Once we were all packed in Hornsby made a desperate request for a burger stop at Dottys on our way out of town.
Piled back into the truck we headed out and eventually found the Kelsey Trailhead that would follow the Kelsey Creek until it intersected the PCT near Paradise Lake.
By the time we were hiking it was 6:45pm. We were hauling uphill to make fast miles hoping to get to the PCT tonight. Around 9pm and 6 miles in a nice flat spot was found and we called it a night, still over a mile by crow's fly to the PCT.