Pacific Crest Trail – Day 60 (24 miles)
I’m glad I ran into Freckles and Pandora yesterday and decided to camp with them instead of my plan of having a massive hiking day. I felt stiff and sore from the 39 miles and an extra few would not have helped.
I stared down the switchbacks and the 5000ft (1600m) decent into Beldon Town. I could not get into a rhythm. About halfway down I was still struggling so I put on some music to distract myself. It partially worked and although it felt like a long time, I made it to the bottom.
I headed straight for the cafe and ordered breakfast. Due to how tired I felt, I decided to spend some time in Beldon. This also allowed me to charge all my electronics.
As I was finishing my meal, Freckles and Pandora arrived. We sat around chatting and trying to see if there was a way to avoid hiking up the massively exposed climb out of the valley in the 105 degrees F (40degC) heatwave.
I went outside to check the actual temperature. It was hot!
As I was outside, Wolf Bird and Sherpa walked around the corner. What a pleasant surprise. I knew they were close but was not expecting to see them here.
We went inside and, drinking Bloody Mary’s, I found out how they have been progressing. They flipped up to the Oregon border and have been heading south.
Eventually, I decided that I must leave, embrace the heat, and get up the mountain. I leave with Freckles and Pandora.
I follow Pandora up the hill. He is from New Zealand and I bombard him with questions as I want to move there in the next few years.
Eventually, I get sick of the heat and my soaking t-shirt and decide to push for the upcoming ford to have a swim. I arrange to meet the others there and set off quickly.
About an hour after I left them trees finally start appearing. Partly due to the shade but also the late afternoon the temperature drops to a comfortable level.
I reach the ford and wait for the others to catch up. There are a couple of section hikers there and I chat to them while I wait.
After about 40 minutes of waiting, I give up and set off again. I really want to get to the top which is another 6 miles away and there is just enough daylight to make it.
It was pleasant walking up to sunset. A few steep pitches and fallen trees make the going more interesting than normal.
I go to set up camp just as the last rays of light leave the sky. I left my groundsheet at Beldon! I took it out to dry off and forgot to put it back. Dam!
I lay out my expensive tarp to sleep on. I’ll get something new in Chester tomorrow.
On an exciting note; today was my first snow free day in 600 miles (1000km)!