Day 77 Mile 1286.8 – 1305.4

Elevation: ascent 6,086 ft, descent 1,843 ft

We woke this morning feeling quite rested after our Nero yesterday. If the resort would have had breakfast we would have stuck around a little longer, but instead we were hiking by 8:15. We knew we had a big climb this morning and wanted to get going before it got too hot. Temps were suppose to get into the mid 80’s around here today. However, we still found time for our pop-tarts and coffee before leaving the room.

In order to leave Belden we had to cross the Feather River on a bridge, but it is only one car wide and there is no sidewalk. Once on the other side we found a lot of construction on the Feather River Hwy. The roadwork caused the highway to go down to one lane as well and eliminated the walkway for us hikers. However, they installed a specific hiker crosswalk button. Basically, once we got the walk sign the highway becomes closed to all cars and hikers can then walk the single lane across the 200 yards of construction.

Once we navigated the road work we were back on the PCT and the climbing began. Since we weren’t able to get breakfast at the Resort the trail provided us with some delicious blackberries, that we definitely took the time to pick and enjoy.

The climb today was long, hot and steep a lot of the time. The fresh scent of laundry in my shirt was gone within the first hour. The one thing that was great was the amount of water we ran across as we headed up the mountain. This area can get very hot and dry so having copious amounts of water was a nice perk. Right after “Bring-it-on Creek” the trail transported us back to our desert days and the bush whacking we had to do just to get through. Double Down went with shorts just for the third time on this trip, but was questioning that decision after the bushes started to attack her legs.

We made it to Andesite Spring at 2:15. This meant we had hiked 13 of the 14 mile uphill climb in about 6 hours. Must have been the spicy tots from yesterday fueling this charge. The water at the spring was clear and icy cold. This helped cool me down considerably as I made sure to pour a couple of cups right over my head while I was collecting. It literally looked like I had jumped in a stream with how wet my shirt and shorts were from sweating. After our short break we had about a mile to the top. Right before we left though Mario, a hiker from Switzerland. came trudging up the trail. He is full of energy and was fun to talk with.

We got to the top of our climb around 3:30 and found some cell reception. I went to work trying to find a hotel in Dunsmuir that we could also send a resupply to in a couple of weeks. While we were up there Mario caught up with us and we continued our conversation about the trail and Switzerland.

Once we wrapped up our resupply details it was off for another 5.5 miles to camp. We found ourselves walking through more open forests and meadows and absolutely continue to love the amount of flowers we are seeing.

We got to Cold Spring around 6:15 and found some nice camping spots near the spring. The amount of water pouring out of this pipe is crazy and having ice cold water again to drink is such a delight. We both feel good physically, even after our big climb. Never would have guessed that climbing 6,000 feet in 14 miles wouldn’t have killed us before we started this whole thing back in March.

Cold Spring

Tomorrow will be a special day as we should hit the halfway point of the PCT and we will get to meet some Trail Angels. We had someone contact us through this blog and inquired about being a Trail Angel for us in this area. Trail Magic is SUPER SPECIAL and was definitely one of the topics we brought up a lot today. Both Double Down and I are super excited to meet them tomorrow. Until our next post, thanks again for reading! Link