Day 75 Mile 1254.7 – 1277.6
Elevation: ascent 5,006 ft descent 2,803 ft
First things first. The cub and momma bear we heard right before bed never returned, so we had a very restful night. Like Double Down has mentioned in the past we try to do everything we can to deter bears from exploring our tent site. So ultimately we weren’t too concerned with their sounds off in the distance last night.
Our plan this morning was to get up early and we had two reason for this. First, we knew we had a big climb this morning and wanted to get it done while it was still cool. Second, we hoped to get up and out of dodge before the majority of the mosquitoes woke up 😬. Having them buzzing all around me while I cooked and ate dinner the previous night still had my ears ringing.
The morning had us ascending towards Lookout Rock, which is supposed to have some amazing views. The climb itself didn’t provide much relief as we really didn’t have much flat trail until we reached the top 5 miles later. A funny thing about this morning, was that about an hour into our climb we past by Mantis and Pants, who looked to be still asleep in their tent. They must have night hiked again to get past us yesterday. Upon reaching the top we gathered water from Lookout Spring which we were going to use for coffee. The water coming out of these springs has been ice cold and delicious!
Once we emerged from the forest the and reached Lookout Rock we were indeed treated to AMAZING views east toward the city of Quincy. We have been missing view like this over the last few days and this definitely lifted our spirits. We sat up on the rock for an hour and had our coffee and pop-tarts. We were able to check emails, as surprisingly we had decent service. We even meet an older couple and their two dogs who had driven up a dirt road to do a little hiking. So we chatted with them a little about the surrounding area.
Once we left Lookout Rock the trail dipped back into the forest which was popping with color as we continue to see more and more flowers blooming. Then we would find ourselves popping out of the forest after a few miles to see views into the eastern valleys.
Right before lunch we crossed Bucks Summit and ran into three thru hikers whom we had not met yet on trail, Caveman, Tramp and Flip Flop. They had just gotten dropped off from a stay in Quincy and had their resupply, which they were trying to organize. We talked with them a bit before moving on to Bucks Creek, where we planned on having lunch.
After lunch it was an ascent towards Spanish Peak. The first part of this was in southern exposure and we were surrounded by large bushes which blocked what little wind was present. That is when we could definitely feel the heat of the day. What little help the river did yesterday with cleaning my shirt was now out the window. Funny thing is we had run into two day hikers earlier today and we got our most popular comment, “you two look too clean to be thru hiking”. Not sure if it’s Double Down’s white shirt that gives that impression, but we always warn them not to get to close 🤢.
After reaching the Spanish Peak trail junction we continued to head north on the PCT. Not much further we got our first glimpse of Mt Lassen off in the distance, still holding on to snow at its peak. We continued to have views east but were also being treated with larger meadows, once again adorned with a ton of wild flowers. There was also a nice view down toward Silver Lake, which looked really pretty.
We then started our descent toward Belden. The plan was to get to Clear Creek and camp for the evening. This would leave us with about only 9 miles into town tomorrow. Both of us are looking forward to being able to shower, do laundry and enjoy the comforts of normal civilization.
We almost got in 23 miles and both of us are fairly happy with how we are feeling after the large elevation gain today. The scenery today definitely helped keep our interest and we found the time and miles cruising by. Thanks for your continued support. Link