Day 153 (Sept. 20): Mile 1,236.9 – 1,205.4

Hopefully, The Last 30

Beginning Elevation = 6,000
Ending Elevation = 6,750
Elevation Range = 5,800 – 7,500
Weather: Sunny and clear, high 65°F

Clear nights make for quite chilly mornings. This was the case on this particular morning. Most of me was rather resistant to the idea of getting out of the warm mummy bag, but the bit of me looking ahead at the long day I had planned won the debate. As I packed up, it was still dark, but the moon was pretty bright which allowed me to do most tasks without the headlight.

I got going at the classic 6:23am start time. One of my particularly favorite start times I must say. I used my headlight for a few minutes when the tree cover above made it still dark, but soon even that wasnt even cause for it. As the morning progressed, a light yellowish orange color developed on the eastern horizon to my left…

On my right side, however was a forest road. And the log trucks were out in force this morning. I had about 6 or 7 go by me…

It wasn’t long before I’d climbed up enough to see out over the trees…

I was hoping to have stopped back on the treeless rounded ridge top (last photo) and have my breakfast out in the sun, but it was a bit windy and still cold. Instead, I continued to a camp site that worked out pretty good. Didn’t have as good of views, but was hidden from the wind and in clear view of the late morning sunshine.

I don’t recall the exact topography/terrain of the trail leaving after this point, but I believe I was treking up to the high point for the day. I was still going solo. I hadn’t seen Cheer or Calzone since leaving Belden and didn’t expect to until Sierra City. I did start seeing a sobo hiker named Blueberry (second hiker with that trail name I’ve met) and we leapfrogged throughout the day a few times. Here’s some of the photos I took between breakfast and lunch.

I came across some unafraid deers…

And got into some neat rock structures and …

At 12:30pm, I reached this saddle where the trail switched to going down. Up to my left was a sort of summit and so I made the off trail scramble up to the top. I named thee Mount Sweaty Back and had a quick lunch.

The rest of the day offered up some super scenic spots. I covered a lot of ground and thus saw so many great lookout points. I found numerous dark blue lakes of various shapes and sizes hidden out in the wilderness below me…

This next picture shows some crag-like, sharp, pointy-looking mountains far off. I didn’t know it at the time of taking the picture, but I’d set up my tent right amongst those later on that evening. I’d also learn they’re called the Sierra Buttes.

Here’s the last stretch of the day. I went past even more lakes en route with plenty of spots that looked like amazing areas to tent, but I resisted the temptation. I wanted to leave myself a short enough day tomorrow to allow me to get into town early enough.

I was shooting to leave 10 miles left for tomorrow, which is where I ended up at the starkly beautiful Tamarack Lakes…

I pitched my tent just as it was getting too dark to see without a light. A full day! I’d hiked from sun up to sun down and I was beat.

Today’s Music/Podcasts:

The Liturgists Podcast – Suffering (Part 1) Florence + The Machine – Lungs
The Liturgists Podcast – Suffering (Part 2)
The Greatest Showman – Soundtrack
The Liturgists Podcast – Suffering (Part 3)
Yellowcard – Lights and Sounds

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