Sunday, August 16, 2020

PCT: past Buck’s Summit to Belden Town

PCT Trail Mile 1270.3 to 1286.8 
(plus a side hike to Three Lakes)

Well.  We are done with this backpacking trip.  We are sitting next to the Feather River on the patio in Beldon Town waiting for a burger. We were here last week dropping off our truck and I know that their burgers are delicious and my mouth is watering and I’m a little impatient.  Hawkeye is happy waiting with his 805 beer. 

In 16 days ( some partial hiking days due to car transfers) our feet took us 239 miles.  Overall, we climbed 41,707 feet and descended 47,799 feet.  We had a good time and we’re happy with how are bodies functioned. 

Last day on the trail are usually a melancholy kind of day, but we awoke well rested and happy.  I jumped up to go catch the sunrise on a rocky knoll below our forested campsite. Hawkeye, like everyday, brought me coffee.  He is very thoughtful. 

We were very happy that today the air was brisk.    It is easier to hike when it is cool.  Everything seems lighter. 

We have plans to have one more hundred mile hike on the PCT before winter sets in and that also helped to keep us from feeling blue.  

Except for our final seven mile switch back descent into Beldon Town, it was a very balanced walking day.  We hiked a bit up and then a bit down.   We experienced forest walks, then granite openings with views of lakes.  It was not monotonous.  We took a side trail around lunch time to go to Three Lakes and met two local ladies who’ve been out exploring for a few days.  We were the first people they’ve seen.   This area does not seem to get many hikers. 

Three Lakes is another PG and E reservoir and we enjoyed swimming and sunning on a granite rock.   We made a friend too. 

This little water/racer snake just floated beside us sitting on a rock in the lake.  

Right before the steep drop off into Beldon was a stark land with great views.  I realized I really like stark places;  distinct lines, clear air,  and open space  all excite me.  My mind feels free to fly. 

Hiking a long distance in general, frees our minds.  The simplicity and natural environment, in conjunction with physically exertion, naturally releases pent up tensions.  We are able to step back and see ourselves and our lives in a different perspective.  We grow.  We think of new ways of doing things and make  some break through a in our personal relationship, as well as in our own personal development.  We also spiritually feel how interconnected we are with nature, each other and God.  We feel ageless too.  No mirrors to remind us of our wrinkles and gray hair and somehow, walking everyday all day, keeps our joints, muscles and ligaments looser. We find ourselves squatting easily  and jumping out of the tent, with no creaking joints, to go see the sunrise.  We experience  a hiker high everyday and we drink it sloppily in every step of the way.  

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford