July 12, 2017: Hiked Miles 1234.4 to 1256.3 (21.9 total)
I think we both got too much sleep last night, because neither one of us wanted to get out of bed this morning. I finally forced myself out of the tent around 6:30 to go to the bathroom and came back to find Colton still passed out. I think he slept over 10 hours. I don’t know how he does it.
My rustling in the tent finally woke him up and got him moving. We packed up and ate breakfast and were out of camp before 7:30. It was a cool morning and most of our hiking was downhill so it took a little while to warm up. But the trail was very pretty winding is way through lots of heavily forested areas.
A lot of the trail is overgrown with thick bushes and vines.
At one point in the morning Colton jumped back on the trail about five feet and I heard something big crash through the bushes. I couldn’t see it because of a tree in the way, but Colton had scared a huge brown bear that was sleeping about 50 feet away and had got up and ran when he saw Colton. Thankfully, he was more scared than interested in us and we didn’t see him again.
We ran into a horse and rider coming up the trail which made passing each other a little funky since the trail was so narrow and dropped off below us. Eventually the horse had to be led back down the trail a little ways so that we could pass so that the rider could figure out how to get his horse around the downed tree we had just went over.
The trail took us down to the middle fork of the Feather River and across it on a bridge.
We crossed over the river and started hiking right back up the other side of the canyon. It sure would be nice if they could build a suspension bridge a couple thousand feet up between the canyon walls so that we didn’t have to walk all the way down one side just to walk all the way back up the other. But judging from the lack of trail maintenance I’ve seen, I’m guessing that’s probably out of the question.
Instead of PCT trail markers in this section, the trees have blank, metal, diamond-shaped placards on them. And somebody thought it would be funny to write on them I guess.
Maybe they were warning us due to the creek that ran under the bridge.
We stopped for lunch where Colton scarfed some food down in about one minute and passed out for about one hour.
After lunch we had a steep six mile climb uphill. The afternoon was warm and we were drenched from sweat in minutes. Everytime we passed a creek I just wanted to jump in.
The trail switchbacks it’s way all the way up the canyon.
It felt great to have a continuous climb and sweat hard, breathe hard, and work hard. There was just enough of a light breeze to cool us down and we got into a good groove and busted out our climb without stopping until we got to our water source. We were close to the top and the trees thinned out to give us a little view.
We filled up with water and then trudged our water-laden packs another mile to our campsite for the night.
We were soaked in sweat when we got there so we peeled off our clothes to dry out and stretched our tight hips and set up camp.
It’s funny to see how my feet are getting dirty again through my socks and shoes now that we’re out of the snow.
While we were making dinner, another hiker came by who asked if we had any ibuprofen since he had got bit by something and his foot was starting to swell up. Luckily I did, so we gave him a few. Hopefully whatever it was wasn’t poisonous.
We made instant mashed potatoes and mexican rice burritos, which hit the spot. Well, mine did. Colton accidentally cooked his rice with double the water he was supposed to use, so he had to pour a bunch of the water and seasonings out about half way through cooking. And this is after I told him how much water to use and him reading the instructions. And it’s probably the 50th time we’ve made rice out here. This guy…
Now we’re laying in our tent listening to every twig snap, hoping it’s not a bear and praying these massive trees surrounding us don’t decide to fall down tonight.