Another night of deer coming into the camp interrupting sleep. Heard from other hikers camped within a few miles of us that had similar experiences. It is weird. I wouldn’t expect deer to be up much in the dark, but these deer are really curious, circling the campsite and stepping on dead branches. Really loud, which is also odd. We see a few during the day and they bounce off, and seem to have less curiosity with us.
The morning walk was gorgeous. I really like walking in the am with the beautiful natural light that moves over the mtns and the trees. Often I will listen to music when we are heading to town, which we were today to get our resupply packages, and this morning I put on an old Pink Floyd album. Occasionally, listening to music while walking through the wonderful scenery makes me feel like I am in a movie, and today it did that. I don’t listen to music very often on the trail, and save it as a treat for myself….but I do it enjoy it quite a bit. Shine On….
The town we went into today was Belden. Belden is odd. There is very little there. We only past a couple houses. The town appears to consist of a Post Office and a bar/restaurant/lodge. There is a bunch of camping near the lodge facility that seems to be there for folks who come up for the Belden Raves. Yes, Raves…..as in techno music, ecstasy, pink hair and sleepless nights. No idea how this all started here, but it seems to go all summer.
We walked into the bar/restaurant, saw the ping pong table and Qball and I were in a volley within minutes. Good times. We got in four games and ended 2-2… Wish there were ping pong tables in every town.
The post office, is a curio shop / PO / Postal Museum. All run by a highly organized lady named Dorothy. Hours – 9-1m-f. Neat little place that appeared to be on a private property with a couple houses on it. The hiker box – a box where hikers discard things that they have shipped to them that they decide they don’t need or want but don’t want to spend the money to ship home…..and usually located at Post Offices, hostels, and other places where hikers have stuff shipped – was excellent. I got some Trader Joes dark chocolate bars as well as some Goldfish.
The walk out of Belden was a long, hot uphill that gained more elevation than climbing Mt Katadhin (Maine) or Mt Washington (NH) – the two big climbs on the AT. We (Qball and I) stopped twice at deep creeks and jumped in the water to cool down. That helped quite a bit.
Tonight is my first sleeping in my hammock on the PCT…very excited. It was waiting for me at the PO in Belden (thanks Kelly!). Great to hang between any two trees that work regardless of the slope or rocks beneath me, which is what I am doing right now…hanging over a pitched slope with big rocks and deadfall limbs below…..and have the comfort of the hammock that I enjoy. With only bug netting above me (not tent material). I can enjoy the sunset as well as the stars, while still escaping the ferocious mosquitoes that wait for us each evening.
Ankle is doing good. It is still swollen a good bit, but no pain during the day. A little stiff and sore in the am, but I take two Ibuprofin and that is it for the meds for the day, and still no pain. Once it warms up, roughly 1/4 mile, it seems fine. Ankle brace is on at all times now, and will be till I finish the trail or wear it out.
Daily Distance: 24.2
Trip Distance: 1,284.8