Day 85 (20/06/2018): Mules Ear to Sierra City (16.1 Miles)
Camping with the Kiwi “Big Grin” and German “Clockwork” couple was awesome, and the deer only freaked me out a little as they stamped around my tent in the middle of the night. This morning was eery feeling walking through the dark woods on the western side of the ridge. I came across a large group of middle aged women hiking and they told me to watch out for cougars. Little did they know, I was watching for them all morning. In town I got a burger and my boxes and boy was I happy to have new shoes. Holy crap I’m ecstatic! The cougar group came into town. I chilled with them for a while at the park. They gave me a Negro Modelo. Later on in the evening I went to the bar down the road. It was closed. I talked my way in somehow and got three free beers. Thanks so much Jim and Nick! You’re the best! If you’re ever in Sierra City, definitely check out Buckhorn Bar and Mountain Creek Restaurant.
Day 86 (21/06/2018): Sierra City to A-Tree Spring at Mile 1219.7 (24.3 Miles) (4.5 Miles off trail)
I woke up on the picnic table near the public restrooms this morning. Chilly winds blowing. It turned out to be a spectacular day which included a side trip up to Sierra Buttes. The lookout tower gave unsolicited 360° views of the entire area. I could even see Mt Lassen! Haven’t seen that since I was a kid. Hiked by myself most of the day. It got very hot this afternoon as it was the Summer Solstice (longest da of the year). Gorgeous lakes everywhere around here. When I rolled into camp my feet weren’t killing me for the ﬁrst time in weeks. They still hurt, just not as bad. Really nice spring with freezing cold water just down from the campsite. Great day overall, really loving this section.
Day 87 (22/06/2018): A-Tree Spring to Middle Fork Feather River Bridge at Mile 1249.7 (30 Miles)
Well, ﬁrst 30 mile day is in the books! My feet hurt again. It was a weird, wonderful, and hot afternoon. Started hiking at 6:15am and ﬁnished at 7pm. Long day. Saw a cool Northern Rubber Boa today on trail with a short rounded tail. Really cool. Didn’t really see anyone all day except for Ferrari right at the end of the day. It was his first 30 mile day as well! Found a camp site right near the river with a line for hanging clothes. So I washed my disgusting sweaty shirt and hung it up. Might go for a dip in the morning before hiking.
Day 88 (23/06/2018): Feather River to Tentsite at Mile 1270.3 (20.6 Miles)
Today had its ups and downs… but really though, my feet hurt incredibly bad this morning. Had to take Ibuprofen for the third time since I started. The initial uphill from the Feather River was never-ending and full of bugs to start. Then the wind picked up and I came across a beautiful stream where I got a nice long exposure shot. The “eyeswoopers” were out in force throughout the afternoon, but I tried to stay positive. It’s getting really hot in the afternoon now, so tomorrow I’ll actually get up and hike early. For it being a “short” 20 mile day it went pretty fast. Beautiful lunch spot at a spring as well. Good day overall, I’m not hurting super bad this evening so hopefully tomorrow will be better. And easier!
Day 89 (24/06/2018): Tentsite to Caribou Crossroads off Mile 1286.9 (16.6 Miles)
Well today went from furious to elated to mad to happy to perturbed. Weird day, the wind was windy, then it dropped off. Then I missed a turn and the trail was full of bugs. Just couldn’t ﬁnd the right hiking groove. The amount of spider webs across the trail was unbelievable. I told myself I had to write that down so that I don’t look back and think how wonderful every part of the trail was. What a great night at caribou though. These people are the nicest ever. They let us charge our stuff, swim around at their river access, and cooked us food. Loving it! Free place to stay with showers is incredible too. Love this spot! I spent the night drinking beers and conversing with “Einstein” and the couple “Big Grin” and “Clockwork”.
Day 90 (25/06/2018): Caribou Crossroads to Cold Spring at Mile 1305.4 (18.5 Miles)
The “eyeswoopers” are back with a vengeance. Man, I was a little hungover when I woke up at 5am as well. Good morning though, I helped Brenda from Little Haven (Trail Angel) load up hiker boxes from the USPS guy, then she dropped me off at the trailhead. What followed was a continuous uphill battle for 12 miles dubbed, “The Battle of Belden”. With six days of food on my back, it was less than pleasant. I saw a California Mountain Kingsnake though! That made my whole day. Just after seeing the Kingsnake I saw a Peregrine Falcon that was screeching super loud, then when I was standing directly underneath its tree the thing just dive bombed straight down before spreading its wings and ﬂying away. Must’ve had a nest nearby. Then at the ridge I got 4G signal for the ﬁrst time in a couple days. I could see Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta way, way off in the distance. It got hot, so I called it an early day at the spring here. Really cold awesome spring water, go ﬁgure.
Day 91 (26/06/2018): Cold Spring to Soldier Creek at Mile 1328 (22.5 Miles)
Gorgeous morning full of views of Mt. Lassen the whole way. Thank God there is no snow anymore. The bugs weren’t as bad today as they had been recently. I suppose because we are at a higher elevation above the oak trees. I didn’t really see any wildlife today outside fence lizards and a deer. Had to walk 0.3 miles off trail to get water at a spring. Made it to the oﬃcial halfway marker! Had to take an obligatory selﬁe. I can’t believe I just walked halfway up the west coast of America… I have so much longer to go. But at least the upcoming parts aren’t covered in snow, and the elevation change isn’t as great. It’s been hot, but today was pretty great.
The way towards Sierra Buttes
1200 Miles with a view!
Damn NorCal, you pretty!
Sierra Buttes in all her glory, the little point at the top is a fire lookout
Buttes fading into the distance
This terrain is like being back home, I love it!
Lakes, and more lakes
Mt. Lassen peaking up in the background
A wee long exposure of a stream crossing, they are becoming more infrequent here
Beautiful streams showing off their watery goodness
Eby Stamp Mill just outside Belden Town
Hard to see, but it says “1300” Miles
Hey, there’s Lassen! The first peak I ever hiked!
Made it to the midway point!!!