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Archive for July 19th, 2006

Creepy?

Destination: Near William Cabin Flat
Starting Location: Clear Creek
Today’s Miles: 14.80
Trip Miles: 1296.10
Clear Creek (1280.2, 6190) to Near William Cabin Flat (1295., 3700) ascent (2293) descent (4711)

One guide book describes Belden as “creepy”. That was certainly not my experience. As we headed in I was a bit nervous about being able to re-supply. Most everyone had sent a box but I had planned on family and when that did not work out because of Mom’s treatment I did not have time to get a box sent. When we hit Belden Town I thought I was in a time warp. The resort was obviously once a grand destination around the North Fork of the Feather River and while its glory days were gone it was obvious that someone was trying to preserve the legacy. The restaurant was closed because of a well problem but the bar was open and cold sodas overlooking the river from within a beautiful old parlor was great. The bartender was really nice and we asked about the store. The lights were out and he told us that the inventory was light but get anything we wanted and he could ring it up. Now no vendors actually deliver to the store and I guess some might be upset about paying 300 percent for goods that were obviously bought at one of the super big box stores and then re-priced for resale. Didn’t bother me as I found almonds, chips, candy bars, and jelly. Now jelly is half of a PB&J so I was getting close and knew another similar existed in town. I placed a call to local trail angels Brenda and Lori and reached their wonderful daughter Rebecca who had us picked up before I put the receiver down. A ride to the post office to get Pang and Swiss Miss’ box and off to Little Haven. A separate apartment provided a perfect place to hang out and let the hot afternoon pass. A short walk down the road to the Caribou Café where a completely overwhelmed staff of two served up a good burger and chocolate shake while 12 hungry hikers kept ordering more food. I had a root beer float after the milk shake and the cook asked if “mixed” was ok as they were out of plain vanilla ice cream. I have never had a neapolitan root beer float before but I worked for me. In a very small corner of a very small café two shelves housed the store. Hamburger buns and peanut butter, my re-supply was no longer a problem. Some kids cereal, graham crackers, and another six candy bars will take me to the +85 miles to Old Station. As the temperature continued to soar the team conspired against me and held a secret meeting to discuss moving on tonight in the cool of the evening. While I in my not moving mode I readily agreed and we got a ride back to the bar and headed up a big climb in the still sweltering heat. We tried to buy a soda but the bar was closed but when Pang saw a nice looking fellow on his porch he asked in that perfect foreign accent if we could “buy soda”. With four sodas in hand we said thank you, took our signature – those who helped us photo and walked through Belden town toward the PCT. Belden was a great 8-hour stop.
Poison Oak is everywhere along the trail and I am highly allergic and pretty nervous about it. I opted for long pants this afternoon and scrubbed my legs raw after walking through miles of the Uri sol producing plant that can cause severe problems for some – me for example. I have my fingers crossed that I do not get it. If I do it means Prednisone and a further weakening of my immune system – not good.
I am glad I had heard this part of the trail can be hard mentally. This has helped me cope by knowing others have had a trying time here also. I need to get over the half way threshold as I believe that will help me. I also got a boost today when Liz said my friends, and huge PCT supporters, could host me for a night in Mt. Shasta and that Liz could also make it provided I could make it by the 29th. Some quick calculations and a commitment to push hard says I can do it. 10 days I see my friends and my wife –that is significant motivation to see me there.
When I spoke to Liz she game me a rundown of her upcoming week. Crazy busy and the contrast to my very simple world of finding food and hiking hiking hiking.

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