Day 151 (Sept. 18): PCT Mile 1,286.9 – 1,265.4

The Many Personalities of N. California

Beginning Elevation = 2,250
Ending Elevation = 5,500
Elevation Range = 2,250 – 6,950
Weather: Rain, a tad bit of sun, rain again, lightning, thunder, hail

I slept behind the Caribou Crossroads Cafe/Store/RV Park by myself. No other PCT’ers were around. And I slept solid. It was an uneventful night. I did however wake to rain unfortunately. This was my riverside camp…

I got up pretty early, but stayed in my cozy sleeping bag trying to get a little more caught up on my posts. To back up here though…yesterday, I rushed down to this store since I had shipped myself new shoes there. According to Guthook’s they were open til 6:00pm, but I found out that apparently Tuesday is the one day they’re closed of course. Who closes on Tuesday of all days? I was super happy to be able to camp here last night though rather than have to do the 1.5 mile road walk down to Belden and then back again this morning.

The Caribou Crossroads store opened at 8:00am this morning and I was there a few minutes after. The lady running things was very nice and helpful. It sounded as though she typically wouldn’t have even opened up this morning due to the rain (it’s a really small and remote place), but knew I had tented back there, and so did so for me.

I found my shipment of shoes right away thankfully! And decided that since she had opened and turned on the grill that I’d stay for breakfast. It was nice and warm and cozy inside, especially when I had a hot cup of coffee and my egg and bacon sandwich.

Since I was literally the only customer, I made sure to get out before 9:00am so that the store could close up afterwards. The lady was super nice and filled me up a hot to-go cup of coffee. They also had a nice tent canopy set up with some picnic tables which I took advantage of when packing up. Super nice.

I’m not sure Chip and Johanna Gaines would approve of the curb appeal, but the place made up for it in hospitality and coziness in my opinion. Here’s my new shoes vs old. Third pair was a charm apparently. I got 1,000 miles out of these bad boys, which is about double what my first two pairs survived. I’m hoping that pair number four gets me through to the end!

Around 9:45am, I took off back down the road and walked 1.5 miles before crossing this bridge to Belden Town.

Calzone and Cheer had stayed in Belden last night having got down pretty late. They didnt really have a reason to head up where I did to Carribou Crossroads. So, we reunited when I reached Belden and found them finishing up a late breakfast meal. I joined for a nice hot chocolate avoiding the rain outside. Afterwards, I did a quick resupply addition to the food I had already, and then hit the trail at 11:00am.

I left earlier than C and C since they had to do a full resupply at the store. I had made things tough for myself in that I’d shipped my package to Sierra City general delivery to the post office. This meant that I had to pull some big miles to get there during the hours they were open on Saturday, something like 10:30am-12:30pm. The girls had shipped their food to a store in the town which was supposed to be open Sunday, so they didn’t have to rush as much. So when I left, I said goodbye for a few days and we made the plan to reunite again in Sierra City.

The climb out from Belden was pretty steep with lots of switchbacks. It was also wet and rainy still. Not sure exactly what got me inspired, but I pretended to be a YouTube vlogger today.

Right around the time I stopped to take a quick lunch break, the sun came out! It was perfect and I tried to dry things as best I could…

Things were opening up with the higher elevation and I was loving it.

I cruised along nicely through the openness for a while, but then the trail retreated into some of the cool mossy trees again…

And then, I walked along a sort of ridge for a while where down below things started looking pretty Sierra-esque. A cliff dropped down to bare rock and several beautiful lakes. Above, where I was on the trail seemed to maintain the Northern California feel of forest and such. Lots of variety…

Careful with the next video. Somehow my music I was listening to at the time got included and it’s rather loud…

About 20 minutes after taking this video, the rain started up again. At first it was just light rain, and then things got a little heavier, and things progressively got more agressive. At 6:00pm was the first thunder and lightning and shortly after, the trail became a river of rainwater and melting hail water. If you have ever wondered if melted hail water was cold, you don’t have to find out for yourself, I can tell you it is.

I was doing pretty good and still trucking along, but I was being foolish. The thunder was extreme. I even put my headlamp on at 7:00pm and continued on. At this point though I was looking for any place to set my tent up to get warm, but I had to go another mile or so before finding a place. It wasn’t great either, just some random somewhat flat spot. During my tent setup process everything seemed to get soaked. I had my sleeping clothes and sleeping bag in a dry bag which was my savior, but oye, tenting in the cold and wet is pretty miserable. Plus, once inside, I realized my somewhat flat spot was pretty slanted and lumpy.

It was so good to get warm in the tent though and get some cooked food in me! Hallelujah for that!

Today’s Music:

Macklemore – Gemini
August Rush (Soundtrack)

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