Wednesday, August 1st, and lots of nice springs again today. Quiet on the trail. I met I'm Fine at the middle fork of the Feather River at lunchtime. He was just getting started. While he packed his camp I had lunch and went swimming in the fantastic potholes below the bridge. We hiked together till I found my camping spot for the night. I'm Fine pushed on to get to Quincy for his mail drop in the morning. Great views from a rock lookout; but a plume of fire between us and the 1/2 way point is getting worse. Hope we can hike through in the morning. Smell of smoke and haze in the sky. The last spring had these neat large green slugs.
Thursday I hiked the long ridge and down the many switchbacks into Belden. Smelled smoke all night. Hiked past I'm Fine's tent at the road to Quincy were I left him and came to the PCT closed at Rt 70 signs. I hiked on to Belden assuming the trail angel could help me get around the fire. As broke out of the woods at Granite Gap I had fantastic views of Silver Lake and Spanish Peak - despite the heavy fire smoke. Nice open ridge views past the gap with several great springs. Then a deep drop with lots of switch backs to Belden.
Lots of fire fighter helicopter activity as I hiked into town. That's when people said I should be here. They are closing the trail south because the are closing the road and you can't get out of Belden. Had a great burger and three beers. Very friendly staff at the resort. Stayed at a free campground by the water with lots of black berries and a nice swim in the river. I'll get breakfast in the morning and see if I can get a ride to Chester. The trail is expected to stay closed for at least two more weeks because of the fire. Really hate to miss the mid-point but no other options.
|Neon in a field of wildflowers|
|Sharing the spring with the slugs|
|Swimming hole below bridge over Feather River|
|Fire closure at Belden|
|Helicopter Water Drops near Belden|