6.8 miles (Miles 1289.5 – 1296.3)
Belden – Myrtle Flat
It’s 4pm, it’s 104º, and Tears and I are sitting in the shade at the trailhead before the climb out of Belden… waiting… sweating… in the shade. It’s so darn hot out here! I’m tempted to jump in the river, but I might get lost in the sea of tubes at the hippie rave party thing! I guess it keeps going until 7pm tonight, so we are listening to super-repetative techno-ey hippie beats. I honestly have no idea what you call it, but it’s a little trance-inducing. I’m guessing that’s the idea…
Anyway, I had a great morning. I woke up before Aloha and made myself a cup of Jetboil coffee, worked on some blogging and photo stuff, went through my pack and exchanged all my stanky clothes for clean stuff, then looked all around to be sure nobody could see me, grabbed my campsuds and towel, and bathed in the river. That felt fantastic. I woke up Aloha, we packed up our cool little camp and head out to pick up Tears at the trail angel’s home.
We head into Quincy for lunch, picking up Stewart on the way. He was just hanging around so we invited him to jump in on our town excursion. We gave him the trailname, “super ultralight” because he has no gear, yet. He took a bus here and his backpack didn’t come with him – the bus messed up and left it behind, I guess. What a bummer! He’s going to hang with Aloha until he’s able to get his stuff. I wonder if his trail name will stick.
In Quincy I had the most amazing, fresh blueberry scone and biscuit with gravy. Best gravy yet! We stopped off at a shady picnic table on our way back to the trailhead and resupplied ourselves… and now we wait out the heat. I’ll check back in once we find a camp up the hill and hopefully be able to talk about how cool and breezy it was!
It’s now 10:30pm. We hiked until 9pm, just dark enough that we needed a headlamp. The moon is nearly full, but we couldn’t take advantage of its light because we finally hit some thick tree cover – we sure could’ve used that earlier! It did not get cool and breezy. At all. In fact, that blazing sun stayed blazing until it sunk below the mountains across the valley. It was still 100º at 6pm! The climb out of Belden wouldn’t have been too bad if it weren’t for this heat wave (we seem to be hitting these a lot!) and the whole no-shade thing. I have to admit – it was really hard. I don’t think I sweat that much in the desert! Or maybe it just dried right away. Anyway, we took an hour break in some shade with three other hikers, then hiked on until dark when it finally started to cool off. I even dipped my hat in a spring at one point and flopped it back on my head, letting it drip all over. A little splash on the face, about 20 oz. guzzled, and I felt rejuvinated. Springs rule.
I’m laying in the tent listening to deer crash heavily onto the ground all around us, crunching leaves and breaking twigs. I’m just glad I saw them and know they’re deer. I’ll sleep well tonight!
Tonight I love those old shoes I just retired. They’ve done a straight 800 PCT miles and brought me through the Mojave desert, along the LA Aquaduct, past thousands of windmills, through rivers, sand, dirt, over rocks, collected pounds of dust, through the amazing high Sierras and over all of those high passes, through snow fields, and to the top of Mt. Whitney. They are a special pair, and I’m keepin’ ’em, sending them home at the next post office.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!