Day 55 the sun’s out

Sunday 3rd June

I was up early as I wanted miles today and so was on the trail at 6.30. it was still misty and dark as I set off down the trail but as my watch chimed 7 it began to lighten up
I think it’s going to be a lovely day I said to myself.

The trail was good and so I could have gone on last night, but it would have taken 2 more hours and I didn’t want to get to camp that late. The trail spiralled gently down and soon I arrived at the shelter.
Sat at the table were Sunshine, Mousetrap and Peaches.
How’s your foot snail peaches asked?
It’s doing okay thanks
I visited the loo then got water.
It was then that I noticed speedy was still here. I thought you would be long gone I said.
She laughed.
I drank water then topped up my bladder as it was going to be a long hot day.
I hoisted my pack and set off it was flat for about 3 miles then it just shot up. I was climbing for about 2 ish hours and omg it was steep bloody steep.
At last I was at the top puffing and panting. it took me a few minutes then I was away. but it was rock, so I was being careful. then peaches and snapdragon came past I pushed on. pointless chasing them as they are all fast. seems everyone is faster than me. but I hike at my own speed and I get there. I was miles away when Mousetrap came by and vanished into the distance.
I pushed on the hours pinged by until I arrived at the 1st shelter. I decided to have lunch here and change my shirt for my vest.
I spent about 40 mins here then filled up water and attacked the trail again.
I spent a long time in the forest and with the  heat of the sun , smelt divine, i emerged  into some meadows and  the heat hit me it so so bloody hot my watch said 90 phew.
I crossed meadow after meadow then more forest then back into meadow.  As  I hiked on i  noticed that  the grass  had been recently cut  several minutes later I met the man  with strimmer or weed-wacker as they say out here.
Thank you so much I said as I past by.
I was then in another meadow but had to walk along  planks to cross it, as I  made my way  across adeer shot up making me jump!
At the end of this meadow I crossed over  a road and then straight back into another meadow. The sun was now scorching,I hoped that I would be I shade soon.
Phew at last another forest. I followed the trail that then dropped down to  follow  another river, it looked really inviting. I  plodded on untill the  trail ended at a road bridge.  I crossed over and found the trail, a little way along I met mousetrap sat in a chair drinking a soda.
A voice said ” would like a soda.”
“Yes please” I said and grabbed one from the ice box. I quickly drained it.

“Take another, as I need to go home now.” the man said
So, I grabbed another and soon drained that too.
“Do you two need water”  he asked.
“No thank you , I am fine” we said in unison.
I lifted my pack and strolled out after mousetrap.
She was fast but as I passed a small stream I noticed that there were beers in it,
I  tried to  catch Moustraps attentuion  but  she was striding away , and  as i dint want to take my pack off , I  could only carry one.
The next part was another 2 miles up. Fun.
it started gradually, as I wove in and out of cows, avoiding the cow pats then . through a few more meadows before  the trail slimbed  steeply and so  I was soon puffing.
omg it was steep,  an hour later I was at the top. Phew . Wow what amazing views.
I was still admiring them. When mousetrap sped by
I took off after her as this part of the trail was perfect for me.
I pushed for several hours then the trail took me past many cairns( big miles of rock.)
Some had colapsed but  others stood  proud  like beacons.
I pushed and pushed until I came to a sign for the next shelter but as it was off trail I decided not to  visit it, but pushed on.

The trail now becomes rockier and it begins to hurt my foot and I have 6 more miles to go. I carried on for another hour then took a break as my right foot was becoming hot.
I found a rock to sit on and took off my shoes and socks  to air and cool my feet.I atet a couple of snacks. As i am resting  a family come up the trail, although it’s not a family it’s a dozen kids who are doing trail maintenance with 2 leaders.  We chat for a while then ,Sunshine appears and we chat some more .
Sunshine  is unsure if she will make the next shelter.
I laugh “What with your legs, of course you will.
She then bounds  off down the trail.
I sit for another 10mins before putting on my shoes and re-joining the trail.
It’s really smooth for about a mile then it goes back to rock  and  its   hand over hand  climbs , as  i  make  over  my  third  i see  Mousetrap and Sunshine sitting and resting  Wow  a great  spot  guys  i say , as there is an amazing  great, so i take  a few more photos. before moving on.

Start 665
Finish 687
mileage 22 miles
Remaining 1503 Miles

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Day 133

27th August
I was  determined to be on the trail early after two poor days I le pt out of my bag at 5.30 put on my stove. I packed up and hit the trail at 6.30 hurrah. Just as I was leaving French Paul came by we chatted for a while see up  the trail Paul.i couldn’t make up my mind whether to wear my waterproof trousers. I decided against .Wrong decision as the trail at this point was overgrown and so all the plants  were still wet so my shorts were soon wet  oh well!!
I came to my first small creek but I cant of been awake as I put my foot straight into the water so 1 wet food great start snail! !!
I pushed on knowing that it was going to.b ea big big climb up and up I chugged the minutes  going by but not as fast as the miles. .
I crossed so many streams and creaks mainly the same one due to the switchbacks
eventually I caught up with Paul who let me pass. Although I wasn’t a lot faster than him he followed me up to the top   two hours it took phew.but again you get rewarded with some fantastic views .
We followed the ridge for s while and through some burn which means log jumping or on this stretch rolling under.makes a change lol. then I passed through some stunning meadows beautiful aromas filled the air with bees and butterflies.
The trail then began to drop down to a lake but you could see that it climbed the other side. I was making my way down to the lake next I was lying g on the ground no injuries .tjis some one had swapped my shoes for clowns shoes as I did nothing but trip for most  of the morning. So  kept shouting duck or rather the other word
There was a melt that fed the  lake so I topped up  my water  then followed Paul up the trail.i followed Paul until my tummy told me that it was  breakfast
See you up the trail Paul.i found a nice spot and sat down then I realized that I was surrounded by blueberries. So I picked half a cupful and added cereal and to make it really exciting I added half a sachet of hot chocolate yummy.  I woofed that down then went off in search of Paul. But I didn’t think id catch him  .But the trail was now down with great views of the mountains s fellow hiker told me theirs names but I could only remember yheidfle one was called  Bears breast .as I made my way down switchback after switchback. I passed about a dozen hikers all mainly out for  4/5 days down and down and down it seemed endless but I was more worried about the eventual up.. All l of a sudden a deer ran in front of me with two youngsters in tow then bounded up the mountain
Wish I could move that fast lol  .I was getting lower then I came to a small waterfall I topped  up as it was icy cold .
I continued on my journey down towards the bottom the nice trail guy’s had attacked the trail making the trail a pleasure to walk down. Thanks trail  volunteers fantastic job
Much nicer than forcing you way down a trail and being attacked by bushes etc
Eventually I came to a  clearing and there sat Paul, Freedom and Shredder
I was going to push on but decided to join them for lunch except I didn’t really have any lunch left  sob
But they had plenty so I left rather satisfied
Paul was going on 7 more miles that would do for me too but I wanted more if I could but I knew it was going to be a big steep climb and I was weary   .Shredder and Freedom were stopping about there too.
I let them go as they are far too fast .Paul let me go but I didn’t want to go that  fast so after an hour or so I stooped for a 5 min break. But then I struggled to get going .it was steep and made up of switchbacks up and up left and right and  right then left.
I met several more hikers we both wished each other safe journeys then back to the climb. Oh water I filled up so if I found a nice camp.i would stop even though id be liw on miles again
But I was feeling good now and ploughed on. I then came to a huge lake there wefe many people in and around it .I also saw Paul getting readyto camp but I pushed on past shredder and Freedom  .I then met two rangers I chatted for a while they were waiting on a dozen volunteers to do some restoration work.I headed off and  up looking for the holy flat spot. As I was going up the volunteers were coming down but no there’s no flat spot .but my faith was in Guthooks who said oh yes there is
And yes I found it may be not the one but this is better

229 to go whoop

 

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A great spot great views

A great spot great views

Sun set

Sun set

 

 

 

Day 132 A little bit Goofy

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24th August
Well I was in no hurry to get up but had planned to be on the trail by 8am
I really fancied a cuppa but I was almost out of water and the next was in 8 miles .slowly I got up and broke camp. I was just about to leave when xxx emerged from his tent see you up the trail I said..Just then xxx came by oh we were almost neighbors! ! Was that your tent back there I asked. Yes Snail he replied. We set off together he said  I’m a bit slow in the mornings to which I replied i’m always
Slow lol..So it wasn’t long before he was gone !.I was in no hurry I wanted to do 20 today maybe more depending on the terrain. But I knew it was going to be a lot of climbing.
As the trail meandered its way up the mountain the views got ever more spectacular wow omg wow.Again my camera wasn’t holstered for long. Up and up I went passing many small lakes. I tried to guess where the trail was heading but its s game I cant win,in the distance on the side of a huge mountain was a faint line surely I am not going up there. ..am I ?
The trail meandered on and wow the views just kept getting better. Mountains valleys lakes just amazing
Then the trail went a sharp right and up omg we are going up there .it was a scramble at first then rock of a scree my favorite My feet seem to be quite fragile at the moment going forward on a nice surface they are great but on this Rock they seem very tender and I feel every knock which makes me shout FU@K  and I shout that quite s lot I also tend to be constantly looking at my feet so im even slower.As i’m stumbling up and across the first scree I meet 4 hikers coming down I said I hate this surface they all said yes its a bit goofy.so I can now blame goofy.i carried on mostly up with a few downs via switchbacks then a straight diagonal up and over the saddle. Oh  dear that’s taken me 3 hrs to do that climb Snail  that is crap .I was hoping thst I could make up some time over the other side but of course it’s scree too and down
So I do my best to go as fast as I dare without falling off of the mountain.

 

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Water at last i stop and fill up then have breakfast before its time to walk.the surface at last changes to soil and I increase my speed (in my head)  I am still going down but not for long. There is another climb  fairly steep BUT OMG  once across this saddle the views are amazing Washington has some fantastic sights. I sit for 5 minutes to admire the view take it all in.Top my right is mount Stewart    but only briefly as the next minute its engulfed by cloud. I am just about to leave when a family come up the trail
We chat for several minutes then I notice that the lady has a Kruger Park badge on her hat. It was a favorite place of mine when I lived in South Africa ,  so we chat longer and about the Carlton Hotel in Jo-burg  where i once worked that has now been renovated. Before we drag each other away.
The next section was down hurrah  and i set off with more vigor god knows how many switchbacks I lost count but 30 plus and for more fun a dozen or so log jumps.i then came to another dramatic waterfall but this one had a bridge in front so you could walk across it wow amazing.
Once across I was in a burn area and more switchbacks
As I made my way down I could hear s distant rumbling no no no rain please well not until at least 6.30  please.
I tried to speed up without breaking my neck or falling off of a tree  down and down as the skies got darker and darker no please no rain yet .Booom
Went the thunder rattling the teeth in my head god that was loud I stopped and got water just in case I had to call it a day but it was only 2.30  Far too early to quit. I pushed on a few spots began to fall .I could hear water lots of water fast moving water I then arrived at the bridge but the bridge was missing bugger!!.I made my way down to the rivers edge.No hesitation Snail  my first foot reached for a rock then my second then the next whoops the next rock was slippy I plunged my pole into the swirling waters to stop myself from falling.i was now stretched between two rocks I wiggled my slippy foot up higher onto the rock i hoped it would hold as I shifted my other foot phew but I was now out of rock so the next foot had to get wet but If I was quick !!!
splash and I was across and dry well almost. I quickly moved on i had a 7 mile climb that was my target for today  well if the rain held off. I could hear more water and as I came around a corner yet another raging river but phew a bridge   I crossed the bridge rolled under a fallen tree then the rain came
Not gentle drops but a torrent I quickly dropped my pack but on the packs raincoat and mine and headed out. It was heavy but worse the trail ahead was overgrown so I was getting soaked twice I battled on for an hour before I saw a dry flat campsite .yes its too early but I don’t want to get soaked so tent up tea on
Need to do better tomorrow as I’m beginning to slide backwards
Typically as I drank my tea the sun came out oh well  here now  mileage disappointing
Hole in my tent !!20140824_135200 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 20140824_135142 20140824_103406 20140824_091938

 

 

 

Day 108 the sisters

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA31st July
I was up early but not as early as Crusher who was just walking down the trail, I soon followed him leaving the section hiker in his tent.
I wanted to do at least the same  mileage as yesterday may be more
I zoned out and pounded down the trail soon passing   crusher who was getting water . on wards I went while it was still cool Ping went my watch  great an hour down two more before breakfast. I passed numerous lakes some breathtakingly beautiful whilst other just large muddy puddles
Looks like I’m staying in the forest I said to myself and plodded on  .ping went my watch great as I was hungry.
At last it was breakfast as I crossed a stream I filled up my water and ate my breakfast then washed my socks before resuming walking.
I think I may of done an hour before I came across Crusher having his breakfast. Snail he said I have cell service with AT&T .Oh I said this was dangerous  as I spent far too long uploading blogs etc etc until my battery was dead.
Really  not clever!!!
I need to buy a new battery as the two I have are not holding charge  .I have been saying this for almost 3 months god I’m useless
As I have the brain of a goldfish I wasn’t sure if I was meeting Tarzan at mile 1975 or I was ringing him at mile 1975 see i’m crap..as I wasn’t sure and now had a dead phone I thought I ought to speed up except there were two large hills to climb bugger.but I was flying and sweating buckets and trying to fight off a cloud of mossies who were attacking me.
In the distance I could see one of the sisters a mountain range in Oregon. As I got closer there was s huge wall of rock around it perhaps from a glacier? .I was in a long wide meadow that was filled with lots of tiny butterflies the size of your little finger nail blue ones and red ones so dainty, and theses  meadows were filled with fantastic fragrances and colours.
This meadow ran along the huge stone wall then disappeared into another forest I spent the next several hours circling it before seeing the second sister.(mountain)  .Great …thunder began to boom out I laughed to myself it never rains in oregon at this time of year !! crash it went again only louder. .mmmm I may be getting wet ,I wanted to go faster but again I was tired   it was 6 pm and I had done enough  i will walk to 6.30 I told myself then look for a flat spot unless the rain comes first
God as soon as you stop the mossies think its feeding time
I have to say they do get me down. They seem to just wear me out . But at last a flat spot and just over 29 miles..I made tea fighting with the mossies before surrendering to my tent

 

Day 105 leaving diamond lakes

27th July
Apart from a few animals possibly a squirrel  rustling my tent I slept well and as we had planned an easy day so we weren’t getting up too early.
We both emerged from our tents around 7pm but by the time we had done bathroom chores and packed up it was almost 9am..we then decided to visit the store to grab a few things get a coffee. We walked in I grabbed two packets of cold meat a cherry pie, chips and a coffee and juicy brought similar. Juicy tried to pay but couldn’t find his debit card. .the cashier asked him his name. When juicy answered  the cashier handed him his card..juicy must of left it there yesterday so it was lucky that we called in to the store that morning.
We sat outside and drank our coffees then it was time to hit the trail if a bit later than planned.
It was about 3 miles back to the trail head.
We were about half way  when a car stopped and offered us a lift..we got in and were soon at the trail. Our driver then thrust handfuls of snickers into our hands. We thanked him then began up the trail .it was about a 4 miles climb to mount Thielson .we set off together but soon juicy was disappearing into the distance. It doesn’t help as i’m stopping to take photos and chat to  other people.
Eventually I’m at the top or rather the pct junction. Juicy is sat there chatting to father and son hikers. I join them. and as i’m taking my break Gram. Hierobics and Blue sky arrive
Then we all set off , the next destination water. As we walk we are dwarfed by mount Thielson a huge rock outcrop. We seem to circle around it.In and out of forests we walk until soon we are dropping down to a Creek. The water is ice cold and I top up m ywater surly it must be  lunchtime and so we drop out packs and  grab our food bags.Juicy cooks up the rest of us all have tortillas and fill them with all different things mine is cheese ham and crushed chips yummy.
While we are eating Grams and Hirobics  wash their socks .
It seems fairly busy today as several families hike by
Time to walk the final destination for today is a lake  so water maybe a swim!
I seem to be making better mileage as I was slow on the first section this morning
I pounded down the trail  it was sunny but with a nice breeze  and the miles seemed to be  falling, but to be honest I hadn’t really looked as I had just been following the crew  but from a distance. Ahead they stopped at a sign pointing out thst we were st  the highest point in  Oregon and Washington. We stopped and took photos then it was time to walk. .The other guys seemed to sprint off into the distance. I wasnt even going to try to stay with them so plodded on in my usual way ill catch up   later.
As I came over a hill the lake appeared below wow that  looks good
I began to circle down   and was soon on the shore it looked do idyllic
There were two other hikers there Lizard & xxx  plus the crew..we all set up our tents then gathered at the shore and cooked together three of us had mac cheese  , grams had couscous juicy had tortillas.
Then we all went swimming foolishly after drying off we chilled out before heading back to our tents   where we watched an amazing sunset
Oh no Deer today  sob  Night

Snail,Grams,Blue Sky,Hirobics and Juicy

Snail,Grams,Blue Sky,Hirobics and Juicy

Doing Laundry

Doing Laundry

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JUicy

Juicy

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Time for a swim

Time for a swim

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Day 85 Castella

7 th July
I heard the other guys moving but far too early for me. Then silence god its still dark and just gone 5 am  I lay in my tent gazing at the sky should I get up ?  Maybe it would be wise considering it a a big climb and may get hot. I dragged my self out and began to pack up it was still dark  I was fairly impressed with myself. And even better I was on the trail by 5.45 a first for me whoop. .packed i moved off  then came to my first water I topped up 2 liters then marched on dreading this big climb
But the trail seemed very flat .that’s a worry .that’s when it began to climb and very steeply but my legs seemed okay and I seemed to power up the trail,switchback then switchback.
What I don’t like is when you see the trail climbing into the distance. I tend not too look up and just zone out
My right foot was hurting today small blister on top .why it’s hurting now I don’t know  so I popped a few ibuprofen and carried on . the  trail now crossed a logging road okay give me a clue which way ?.I normally look for footprints but the ground Was too hard oh there. I spied a marker sign
Would be proud. The trail now climbed even steeper but I was feeling good my watched chimed  great that’s two hours Breakfast. I walked to i came to a nice spot to stop Dropped my pack .put my phone into the solar panel and relaxed. Had the last of my cereal and made tea.
Then time to walk. Up and up I went great views of mount Sasha if I didn’t know better I’d say the mountain had been following me for days ..
Phew it getting  hotter and hotter and I haven’t the normal amount of water silly me was hoping that there would be more springs  .doh I was cross with myself for nor filling up more water
Up and up I climbed. Hours ticked by I checked the GPS great I’m at the top
I stopped for a lunch break although there was nothing to eat  as I’d eaten it all. So i drank more water. Then checked my feet or rather emptied all the debris out of my shoes. I checked my ouchy right foot the blister was a little pussie DAM I thought I should of looked at that closer yesterday. I bathed it and poked it put on antiseptic cream and redressed it.It did feel better but I must watch it more closely.
I now began my decent to  castella .Down and down walking through oak forests so your feet crunched on he leaves  and old acorns. Oh a spring I topped up  2 liters and felt much happier. Down and down around and around and around and down it deemed to take for ever to get down god I’m so tired I can’t believe how tired I am .so I stopped for a 10 minute break. Still down and still down I plodded and plodded does this not end  ……Hurrah I came to a green gate I knew I was now close.
I crossed over a bridge and up a road. To the right were some huge gates to someone’s home .must be important or rich as the entrance was massive. I then walked over a bridge that spanned the  something river. Across the railway tracks and headed onto Castella
The road walk was almost 3 miles and did i say it was hot. Eventually i saw sign to the store and post office. As i walked to the store i could see other hikers
I went in side the store I was fairly disappointed with the selection and it was pricey I treated my self to a large tub  of ice cream a six pack .pringles. Energy bars etc
Ham cheese etc I’ll get in the morning before i hike out.as i was paying friend arrived .We met outside on the picnic table with  Halo, and  prancing pony, we sat and chilled and talked nonsense  before friend and i headed for the local  camp .
The ranger  booked us in  $3 bargain then another ranger drove us up  in the back of his pickup yeah
BlackBerry was already here and tartan and several other tents. I put up  my tent then decanted the contents of my pack out as hopefully I will have a new one tomorrow.. Then i went  to find the showers , God they were good, im all clean .The shower were great and whilst in there washed a few of my clothes.
I then decided to shave but with this much growth 1 razor isn’t enough So i look a bit rough but if I   continued my face would be raw!!
I made my way back to camp then cooked dinner and drank a few beers It was nice to chill and relax ..Still did 22  miles today but I was exhausted Maybe because it was 109° phew
Tartan was sorting out his resupply boxes  he had loads so i managed to squirrels a few more meals
We chatted for ages  about the trail and miles  my mileage has suddenly shot up from doing 16/18 to 22/26  I’d like to do a 30 my biggest so far is 28 but it all depends on the terrain and the steepness of the trail
Off to bed but go its still so hot
Hopefully a new pack tomorrow whoop

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Cougar

Cougar

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Day 76 Chester

29th June
I had a lie in and needed  it. Yesterday seemed long.i packed up camp and we were on the trail by 7 am. And somehow we flew. It was down hill nut we did 5 miles in under  two hours actually a lot less.we stopped for water. Nobodies friend pointing out all the pink substance surrounding the area. This was fire retardant that had been dropped to stifle a fire.
Well only 3 miles to the road. And the trail was fairly flat and so it didn’t take us long. We stood by the road with our best thumbs out and waited and waited and waited. Nothing. A car pulled up in the other dude day walkers and informed us of the cache which was there. I wandered over and grabbed two sodas from the box  and walked back to nobodies friend. As we we waiting  White ghost appeared hey snail I have something of yours. It’s my solar panel hurrah I gave her a huge hug.but it was the south boulders  who had found it and passed it on so thank you all. PHEW !!
At last a ride a couple dropped us off at the shopping mall. Nobodies friend was going in and out do w said our goodbyes and said I’d catch him on the trail. I wandered off looking for s place to camp. I found the post office and the library good.then walked to an Rv  park. Do you allow camping?  I asked. Yes came the reply  $15 you can put your tent under that tree.
He then gave me a key to the toilets.
I put up my tent then went to look at the laundry
They had laundry on site but I wanted my bag and jacket washed and these need a front loader.so I wandered up down .sat outside the laundrette was white Ghost and another hiker..Oh freind was looking for you. He’s across the road..Great the laundrette had front loaders. I wandered into the burger bar where friend was. Friend was debating weather to stay or get back to the trail.
I said I was going shopping then to the laundrette. Okay he said I’m going to get a shower and do the same.
I went shopping trying to be as miserly as I could but still spent $100
Omg  and on what okay beer
But apart from that nothing outstanding and I still need cheese bagels ham and gas.
I struggled back to my tent meting tent stake coming the other way. I dropped my gear in my tent. Put the I’ve cream in the freezer. Grappled my sleeping bag and laundry and headed back up town. Freind was sat outside the laundrette. I put my clothes and bag in separate machines grabbed a magazine and watched 40 minutes go by..nobodies friend decided he wasn’t camping but was heading back out .okay  I’m sure I’ll catch you. I had the post office and wanted to catch up on my blog if i could in the library
Fingers crossed the nice people at solar monkey are sending me a replacement solar charger
I also need to chase Osprey regarding my pack .
Washings done now to dry. My bag seemed awfully wet
But my jacket looked sparkly clean. I loaded them in the dryer added the rest of my clothes bugger forgot to put my shorts in typical oh well.
God it’s a long time watching clothes dry.at last i headed back to my tent jumped in the shower. Then i  grabbed a handful of beers and sat in the sun with a tub of ice cream and bag of Doritos. .heaven. .my electrical devices charging while i relaxed
Oh 9 PM late for a hiker

 

 

Hitching to Chester

Hitching to Chester

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CLEAN!!

CLEAN!!

Day 73 Beldon or Bust

26th June
I  woke to a misty foggy day
I packed up then unpacked to get my rain jacket just in case.
Friend and I set off we were both a little sore from our 24 miles yesterday. The last hill sapping our strength.Think we were going to spend the day in the mist as it didn’t look as if it would clear..A mile on we met two section hikers camping.we laughed this was our spot.on we went through the forest till  we came to a road. We met another hiker here.we chatted to him and asked his to look out for smokes
For most of the day we spent in various forests  until at last we came to a trail head.we stopped for a break here. I wanted to remove my coat but it was still cold .We continued on and up climbing and then the dun came out and I was roasting so stopped to take it off.as soon as I began walking again it got cold.but I continued on .St the top we could see lakes in the background .The largest silver lake looking inviting with the sun glistening off of the service.we sat and ate lunch looking at the amazing views.i had cell service for 5 minutes hurrah. We could continued on  through several meadows before dropping back into the forest. Then Ninja Tank passed up he had stayed  at a trail angel house over night been fed steak potatoes and watched the football USA V Germany. Germany won.he also gave us news about our friend smokes. He’s resting there for a few days. We expected a few more hikers yo catch up  with us as they had been staying there too..
For the rest  of the  day we were on a rocky path but again with great views of Beldon  far far below had planed to water up and camp but the path was narrow and no camping spots. There was no option but to continue to Belden. Which was a 5 mile walk down.we set off switchback after switchback after switchback. I was exhausted and my feet were aching but down and down I went. Trying to avoid my new found friend poison oak.but loving the wild gooseberries and currents.  The time ticked by but I was a still a long way up .switchback after switchback St last I came to railway tracks and waited as a long train trundled by.
We crossed the tracks and headed for the store. I went inside smiles and ninja tank were drinking beer so i went back outside and  said to friend I’m in for a few beers.
I dropped my pack grabbed a bar stole and orders a ice cold glass of beer a huge burger and a few more beers
Before our ride came to take me to the Bratton a trail angels home.i had a bed a hot shower and hurrah my new shoes and poles whoop
Several more hikers were here Tent stake  was resting. We all chatted for a while before I turned in
My highest millage so far 28 yeah

 

Stamp Mill

Stamp Mill

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Poison Oak

Poison Oak

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My  New Shoes

My New Shoes

Yummy

Yummy

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Beer Yeah

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Borealis, his lady and REI

FOGGY

FOGGY

Day 67 Sierra city

20th. June
We were all up fairly early and hit the trail .Smokes had started a little ahead due to his sore feet.the trail started flat then dropped down into the forest. Because the sun couldn’t  penetrate the forest it was cold and I wished that I had out on my gloves.
Eventually we began to climb and at last sun as I needed warming up  .but soon I was too warm time to remove my jacket phew..As we wanted to get to town before the post office closed  there was some urgency in our walking and our normal long breaks became minutes. Again we entered the forest where a lot of logging was going on parts of the trail had been churned up do to the logs bring dragged out..We stopped by a bridge for a quick break and to top up our water. As we rested four large logging trucks came rumbling by they are busy today..We headed back into the forest and began to climb but not that steep. The trail meandered on then down. We paused to climb over a fallen tree Da vinchi is taking photos for the trail crew to remove it. Then we begin to go down. The trail is very rocky so I’m slow and the stones hurt my feet.its my least favourite surface but it’s the trail. It’s just so easy to slip or roll an ankle. At last it becomes a sandy surface and I speed up arriving
at a dirt road. Left or right? We continue heading towards the state park and then a short hitch to town.
The park is clean , tidy and well laid out with bear boxes dotted arround
The Americans really know how to do leasure I am so envious of the tents and campers.  the smell of good food cooking and clean people 🙂
We cross a bridge  over a river which is so clean I have an urge to jump in
What a great campsite!.
Just over the bridge is the Sherrifs car smokes stops to ask the officer which way to town and the next minute our packs are in the back and we are getting a ride into town in the Sherrifs car Fantastic!!! Loving it
He drops us outside the post office. Which is next to the store. Outside are s dozen hikers that we have been leapfrogging along the trail. Twinkle, Carrot, Sherrif Woody, Coughy, no chance, will,Twig and many more.
I dropped my pack and went into t post office. I had four packs .1 from my old coworkers at Staples uk Thanks so much it’s was really appreciated and another from a American lady who helped me on the trail again thanks so much for your generosity:-)
No shoes poles or anything from Osprey dam
Loaded up with my boxes  I headed for the church where we were going to camp. There were about a dozen hikers resting already. I went to set up my tent.but was clearly told snail we are cowboy camping.The word filled me with dread.so I reluctantly laid out my mat and spread my sleeping bag over it.then set about sorting out my resupply. Thank you again guys for my treats from England it was much appreciated you guys are the best.i was so chuffed and thank you my American friend.in all the excitement i didn’t write down all the names so apologises
And again I’ve sent my self to much stuff.i ll sort it tomorrow. Okay shower I headed over to the red moose . $5 for a shower.oh it was so good I think i spent about  40 minutes under that jet of water. Next laundry my clothes haven’t been washed for three weeks .I loaded up the machine. Then went to the store and ordered a burger they do do a 1/2 lb burger and a Gut Buster which is 1lb I went for the 1 lb and charged my phone while I waited.
God the burger was good .The guys then went to a bar for some refreshment and  sat out side drinking .relaxing and chatting to the locals and a couple from Holland who were on holiday. ..Finally time to go. We all grabbed a six pack and headed back to the church to finish off the day
Right bed time and my first cowboy camping experience

Another Taxi

Another Taxi

 

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Sierra City

Sierra City

Cowboy camping

Cowboy camping

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Getting There

Getting There

Day 66

19th June
We all slept well apart from noxious gasses in my tent from my bean chilli
Once up I went to visit the drop toilet. At the grub hut it’s two story as when it shows the top would be level.
We set off the four of us  myself leading. Followed by nobodies friend. Da vinchi and smokes. Smokes was bringing up the rear due to foot problems. The morning was fairly chili but not cold.the trail started reasonably flat so we were flying along quite quickly. We stopped for our first break took off our jackets and watered the trees then we were off again. The trail dropped down through the forest. Which was nice and soft on my feet.i can’t wait for new trail runners as I’ve worn out my Altras .wore them out in three weeks and because they are wrecked it’s worn out my socks too.both my pairs have big holes in the soles and toes
But I need to wear them for one more day!!. As we were walking through the forest we came across a maintenance crew. They were all volunteers and we’re going in to cut up fallen trees that block the trail.
We continued on the trail winding it’s way up through the forest. Eventually we came to a part that had major forestry. Trees had been thinned out and the trail was  torn up quite badly due to machinery. As we climbed the sun became hotter phew 85°  at last we  exited the forest and traveled along the ridge of one of the hills.
Lunch time i stooped in the shade and removed my pack the others did the same. Solar charges out and food bags. I ate bagels filled with roast turkey, Swiss cheese with mayo & mustard. Yummy. followed by orange that I carried from Truckee delious.
We chilled for a while then time to walk. The next section was up a steep up that made me puff and puff.once agsin w were on a ridge that then switch backed along a hill.it was steep but we had a gentle  breeze to stop us from over heating. .The trail criss crossed the hills you think your going right and the trail takes you left. This continued for most of the afternoon till it was time to take a break. We all sat in the shade as the sun was now too hot.  .as we continued on we came across a lady on her horse she was riding the pct. I was quite impressed as the logistics are a nightmare. Luckily she has a great mum you meets her at the Trailhead with food etc.
We. We’re making good progress ,Our target for today 19-20 miles and we had 4  to go we stop by a stream to fill up with water. We there met a hiking couple who had just started we chatted. A while then headed for our camp and hopefully flat ground.
At last. Tent up unpack .We all gathered around my tent and ate dinner I tried refried beans in a burrito it was okay but needed tomato and lettuce lol.we chatted about the day and tomorrow. We should get to Sierra City by mid day .We are all looking to having a shower and washing our clothes. Mine haven’t been washed for three weeks and yes I really smell. We have all agreed on a zero so hopefully Saturday we can sleep in take naps drink a beer or two and relax.becsuse we haven’t rested for three weeks and we are all tired.

 

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Da vinchi and smokes

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Nobodies Friend

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More Logs to climb

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