The fire in the sunset picture from yesterday is the Leef fire. Today, that fire closed the PCT from 1586 to 1606. The news didn’t get any better throughout the day as rumors were spreading of other potential closures north of Etna and near the Oregon border. It’s not looking good. In the morning, I met two southbounders who had hiked through the Leef area when the fire started and they told me the smoke was pretty bad up to highway 3 (1566). My plan was to hike to highway 3 and hitch into Etna if it was looking bad. I ate lunch at Chilcoot Creek, near mile 1552, under blue skies. After lunch, I hiked around the corner and was met by a cloud of smoke. It was apparent that the wind had shifted. Not knowing exactly where the fire was, I made the decision to walk back to the creek to the forest road at the bottom and just make my way to Etna. It took about an hour and a half to walk the mile down because of all the boulder hopping. I then started walking up the hill to the trailhead I had passed in the morning to see if I could hitch a ride. A mile into walking the road, I saw my first car and they gave me a ride to the trailhead. I couldn’t find anyone heading the way I needed to go, so I setup camp by the trailhead and will try again in the morning.

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