Saturday, August 19, 2017

Day 10 - Partway up the hill from the Feather River

It never really cooled off last night so I knew I was in for a hot one today. Accordingly I only ignored my alarm one time and was packed and walking by 6:15am. My focus was to get to the Feather River before it got too hot and I managed to get there about 11:30 (8.5 miles) but I didn't beat the heat. 

First thing I did was to find the campsites, then get to the river from there. Fortunately the river isn't at a dangerous stage so getting to it was easy. Did I get in?

Ahhhhhhh. After getting out, I wet my shirt and gathered water for tonight. I could stay here of course, and that would make tomorrow's climb less difficult in the cool morning. But I'm gonna go part way to the next water source this afternoon and then call it a day. It might be cooler 1,400 feet higher. Plus, the oak gnats are swarming and there are mosquitoes down here by the water. I got my first 2 bites this morning☹️. 

I'm not complaining really. I've been blessed with relatively bug-less days but I fear I'm due for some temperament testing. 

The bridge over the river is the largest equestrian bridge on the PCT. When it was built they had to bring the actual bridge back in here via helicopter. Imagine how big a bird you'd have to use to bring in a bridge this size.  

It would have been fun to stay here with friends for a couple of days. There are deep pools for swimming and even some small rapids. 

Finally about 1:30 I braced myself and started the climb out of the canyon. All I'll say about it is that the hike up was challenging. I didn't lose temps, in fact it's now 4:45pm and I think it's still in the high eighties. I don't have a thermometer but I'm judging by the feel of the heat on my skin. At first the trail was shady and protected from the full on summer sun. Then it rounded a corner and was south facing for the last 1.5 miles. I was sweating buckets. 

The trail finally crossed an old dirt road that doesn't look like it's been used much recently. In theory it's a trailhead access for the river. In practice it is, shall we say, lightly used. I have found myself a couple of trees and hung my hammock. I don't even know if I will be using any kind of sleeping cover tonight. It's still so hot.

I did manage to hike 11+ miles today. I'm good with that. 

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