Day 87 – 7/7/15
Somewhere near Bucks Lake
Miles – 19.0
Total Miles – 1314.9 (PCT 1261.0)
Ann once again insisted we be the first up because we are camped with the same group of hikers. We were the first to be packed up and out of camp. Mama Raven was much happier this morning. The trail was 5 miles of down. We dropped about 1,000′ down to the Middle Fork of the Feather River. Way above the river, was a long steel bridge, but crossing it would have to wait. A stop at the swimming hole below the bridge came first. We rock scrambled down to the waters edge and dropped our packs. A number of other hikers were all ready there. We all went swimming, yes even Mama Raven. It is the best swimming spot on the entire PCT. Will and Little Crow climbed out on some rocks and were trying to push each other in. Finally Will got in and Little Crow quickly followed. Will was trying to keep his hair dry so I jumped in and pulled him under. As this was going on, Mama Raven was slowly working her way into the water. It took a while but she finally got all the way in. After I floated around the rocks in the current, Will and Little Crow had to do the same thing, over and over. Before we got out, Will and Little Crow swam across the main pool and then back again. We all had a great time.
When we left the river, we started a long hard up, 3,000′ in 9 miles. This happens a lot in northern California. There are a lot of wide flat mountains with deep river valleys. We stopped at the first stream we came to because we were very low on water. We quickly filtered 9.5L of water. This is the first water we have filtered since Tyndell Creek (below forester Pass) in the Sierras. We have been relying on spring water which we do not have to filter. Some hikers filter spring water, but we do not. The up took most of the day to climb. We were lucky because clouds moved in and kept us cool. Finally, late in the day, we topped out on top and picked up our pace. Around dinner time we came upon a paved road. The group of hikers we have been with are splitting up a bit, some are going to Bucks Lake to eat and others are going to Quincy. Our objective was to stay on the trail to reach Belden as soon as possible. Our idea was to hike on and not get side tracked from our goal. That almost worked. As we got to the road, we saw a SUV picking up 3 of the hikers we have been hiking with. The gentlemen driving the SUV saw us and offered us some trail magic we could not refuse: dinner, showers, laundry, porch to sleep on, breakfast and a ride back to the trail. With only 23 miles to get to Belden, we decided to go to his place. On the trail it is important to be flexible, and this was one of those times. We have all gotten a shower and had dinner; hamburgers, salad, rice and beef stroganoff. It was excellent! Wiki, Starfish, Cardboard, Supertramp, Wendy Bird, Lord Logan, Critter, Skua and Little Crow’s new best friend, Sweetums were all there. It was a big slumber party with some very special Trail Angels.