PCT Day 74: Quincy and Belden

Miles Hiked: 22.8

PCT Mileage: 1286.6

This morning I willed myself awake at 4:45am. It was the perfect temperature outside and I had no problem getting out of my sleeping bag and doing all my chores as I packed up in fifteen minutes and hit the trail by 5am. The miles flew by so fast because I was on my way to town. It was definitely way darker than any other morning so far and I was sad about it. The forest was a little creepy in the dusk light and I kept looking for bears. I was happy when the sun finally came up. The forest was so beautiful with green moss on the trees and ferns all along the sides of the trail. It was partially burned but not bad at all. There was still soil rather than ashes under my feet. I got to the road at 6:30am. It was quiet. The first car that went by at 6:45 passed me. Another car came at 7am and I got to ride in a truck with two other hikers named “Lost” and “Daydreamer” who showed up at the perfect time. I was glad for the early morning hitch because it didn’t seem like many cars would drive down the road and I know a lot of other people wanted to get to town today too.

Our hitch dropped us off on Main street and we walked to the first and only place that was open for breakfast “Quincy Provisions”. I got a bear claw and a cinnamon frappe. I charged my things while I waited for the post office to open so I could go get my box from my friend Sophie. I was so excited for this resupply. At 8:30 they told me to come back in two hours because my box has arrived but the mail hadn’t been sorted. Great! Now I have time to kill in town so I got breakfast with Pop Rocks and Tiger Lily who I last saw in South Lake Tahoe. I finally caught back up to them again after hiking many long days. We ended up having to take our breakfast to go because it took so long and they needed to check out of their hotel on time. I was offered a shower before they left so of course I took it. The last section has made me so dirty I was feeling desperate for anything to make me feel clean. I did feel so much better afterwards and they gave me two beers to take on trail since they had so much left over from 4th of July party.

After all this I went back to the post office and found out my box wasn’t actually there. Frustrated that I wasted so much time in town, I had the box bounced to mt Shasta so I can pick it up in another town in five days. I really didn’t want to miss this one but I didn’t have time to wait around because I had been working so hard to catch up to Trail Diva who is waiting for me 19 miles away in Belden tonight. After not getting my food at the post office I ran back to Pop Rocks hotel and got free food from a girl named “graceful” who asked if any of us needed anything earlier because she had too much. I took everything she wanted to get rid of and was so glad I still didn’t have to spend money on a resupply. Food is expensive on trail when you eat twice as much as normal! Finally I walked to the pharmacy to pick up an ankle brace I feel that I can’t afford to hike without and then to the toy store where they give all the PCT hikers a free cone. After all this I felt like I could finally hitch out of town at 1:30pm.

I walked to the end of town where the road I needed to get back to trail was. Subway was right there so I stopped in to get a fresh veggie sandwich for later today. Within 10 minutes I was picked up by a nice local man who lives up the hill and occasionally goes out of his way to drive hikers up to the trail. I have certainly been bold and lucky when it comes to hitching by myself lately. I have been hiking alone for so long it feels like. It is certainly lonely. At 2:15 I was back on the trail feeling rushed to get to Belden. The trail was so stunning to me as I put in my best effort to hike uphill as fast as I could. My pack felt light and I was so glad I dropped my base weight so much in the last month by sending items home. There were flowers, meadows, and views everywhere I looked. Eventually my strong energy I started out with tanked and I had to take a break. I sat down to have one of the white claws from Pop Rocks trail family and my foot long veggie delight sandwich. I gave another hiker named Wednesday the other beer as he passed by and we chatted for a bit before I had to push on to get to Belden. 12 more miles and it was 4pm.

I hiked by a guy named Nate and we shared a few miles together. It was the first time I have hiked with someone in seven days. Wow I have been lonely. I was so thankful for his company. He was trying to push to town too and the miles just went by so fast. Eventually we lost each other as he stopped to eat a cliff bar and then I realized I had lost my wallet by the time he caught back up. Seven miles from Belden where I had been pushing so hard to get too. I started to panic. Without my ID I couldn’t even pick up a box at the post office. I texted my friends and turned back up the trail in a frenzy. I scanned left to right. Everytitme I passed a tent I woke up the hikers to ask if they had seen a wallet. No luck. Then I ran into Tuzi. I could tell immediately. He found it! I was so Lucky because he found it way off the trail in an area I had accidentally walked off trail Because the burned soil erroded it so I couldn’t see it. I gave him a hug. I love the way you meet people out on the trail. Just yesterday I started the day by smoking a joint with a random stranger at mile two because I found his bag of weed he had lost the night before and was turned back to get it. Now it was my turn to lose a wallet. I hiked with Tuzi all the way to camp. More friends! He actually hiked the PCT last year and is hiking for a while again.

I absolutely flew down the long long descent into Belden. I was literally jogging down the trail with my pack on. Tuzi and his whole trail family were doing the same behind me. I thought we were all crazy and wondered how no one tripped or stopped because their knees hurt. It felt great to be worked hard and tired in the early July heat. The whole hillside we ran down was charred to a crisp. The soil under my feet completely black. Suddenly I was at the river and road where the town of Belden was and I scanned the side of the trail for Diva’s green nemk tent. I found it! I was so thankful I had found my wallet, made a new friend, and hiked a total of 162 miles in five days to catch my friend. My feet hurt. I plopped down next to her tent and we caught up on life for an hour while the sun went down and I took care of my feet and camp chores. Finally. I can rest.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Published by Deserrae Potts

Thru Hiker Blogger

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