Nobodies friend woke me at 5.20. God I slept so well but still didn’t want to get up. .by the time i emerged from my tent nobodies friend was packed up and ready to leave. Smokes feet hurt especially his Achilles , so he was going to leave later, take it slow although he didn’t think he would catch us today! .I packed up ,topped up my water from the spring as it was going to be a long stint and a lot of the seasonal springs were dry.
I headed off slowly my legs aching until they get warmed up. It was a bit of a climb to begin with then i was in my stride and away we went.i was trying to put in two hrs before stopping for a break. It was a gorgeous morning and it was going to be a hot day
We snaked through the meadows which were alive with dwarf lupins making the whole meadow look blue. And the smells were lovely a fragrant lemon ..We pushed on and the miles were falling. The target today was 22 ..but at the end of the day there was a huge hill to climb. Today’s section took us across many roads where huge logging trucks struggled to haul their loads .
We met several hikers and a dead dear the dear want that chatty so we hiked on. At last.break time .Phew it was warm and only 8.30. We relaxed re hydrated then time to walk the next section was an 8 mile stroll downhill….Down and down and down and across and down and down we walked and walked. But didn’t spear to be getting any lower..It was also hard to see as we were surrounded by trees.down and down then switchback after switchback.
Snail nobodies friend called.i stopped and went to look. Nobodies friend was showing me poison Oak.its a climbing shrub that can burn your skin and cause massive weepy blisters. So good to know.its nothing like oak but it leaves can resemble oak leaves. As I tend to hike in shorts (still) I had to dance around some of the stuff .But at least I know what it is now. And still we circled down .St last a break in the trees allowing me to look down in to the valley. I could see the middle fork river rushing by.looks like a good place to take lunch. Down and down then we emerged into sunlight and could hear the river rushing down the valley as w rounded a corner I could se a large bridge spanning the river. We stopped under a tree and had lunch.both of us nodded off so our 20 minute lunch turned into a hour oops. We packed up and crossed over the bridge. I was so looking forward to the next bit it was 6 miles up.It will be fine I said to nobodies friend the switchbacks will be shallow and kind! !!!!!!!
Up we went the first bit was okay and yes the switchbacks not to steep but boy it was hot and the sweat was gushing down my face phew
We then came to another bridge across the river. This is were our friend smokes is trying to get to today. We pushed on the trail getting steeper and steeper bloody he’ll I said this is a bloody killer. W passed over a seasonal spring and stopped to fill up water just in case. I drank almost 2 litres I was so thirsty. Then back to the climb. Our reasonable pace slowed hour by hour it was just too steep. But we were committed. We now had to get to the top as now where to camp. By 4 PM we were both puffing like old trains.and stopped to catch our breath.before continuing on .Again we had to watch out for poison oak. W also came across Lilly’s especially the tiger Lilly’s ,Dogwood in flower which was stunning.
Also we came past the biggest sweet pine tree (photos to follow) .Bloody trail why is it do steep where are the nice switchbacks
We stopped on the hour every hour to catch our breath before struggling on .It can’t be much further to the top surely? ..At last we came out of the first into the sunshine. .before us was the ridge. .couple more miles I guess
I struggled on before pausing at a spring to top up with water our camp spot should be about 1/2 mile.
We were both so tired any spot will do I dropped my pack and threw up my tent as the black clouds rolled in threatening rain. .Nobodies friend got his tent in just a bit further along. We joined each other to make a hot drink and then we rain beginning to fall we both headed for our tents to drink it and eat dinner
Phew it was a long hard day for us old hikers. And looks like a similar day tomorrow (oh dear) miles today 24