View/Sign my Guestbook
Brian "Gadget" Lewis
Begins: Apr 27, 2008
Date: Fri, Oct 3rd, 2008
Start: Belden Town, mile 1289.3
End: Unknown, est 23 or so miles today
Daily Distance: 23
Trip Distance: 2,608.4
Entry Visits: 1,148
Journal Visits: 149,741
Guestbook Views: 84,070
Guestbook Entrys: 155
Pacific Crest Trail Map
(Click image for full size)
Pretty Unambiguous Sign at Belden
This morning before I started walking I called Goodstart from the pay phone at Belden town, and found that a family tragedy occurred yesterday; I won't go into details here. One low significance factor from this is that it could possibly relate to my transportation back home, but I spent a fair bit of time today while walking in contemplation of the person involved and related thoughts. The weather was a perfect somber background. This was one of those "bad things happen to good people" cases. In spades.
As planned, I was at the local post office right when it opened and got my box, integrated the contents, and was soon on my way walking initially back the way I had just come. Highwway 70 is indeed somewhat dangerous to walk along, but I kept on my little orange "don't shoot me hunters" fabric to increase visibility, and I was pretty aggressive in moving back and forth to whichever side of the highway seemed safest. Anyway, no problems.
Oh, I should mention that I spoke with a couple of local people and got the sense that the PCT just north of here is entirely walkable, but is still legally closed. This is speculation, but my guess is that they just haven't gotten round to walking through and doing some basic cleanup and/or safety inspection, and in our litigous society, it's clearly insufficient to simply provide data and expect people to make their own decisions and take personal responsibility for their own actions ... Okay, I'm on a rant here, aren't I ? :-) Sorry.
Anyway, despite complete confidence that (a) I could easily and safely walk the PCT proper, and (b) I would very likely not be caught, I opted to take the high road --- or perhaps just *the* road --- and went for the road walk option. Perhaps it makes a difference that I'm doing a daily journal entry; one is perhaps less inclined to break the law and then publish the fact on the internet! But in fact I'm a boringly law-abiding citizen anyway, and likely would have chosen the same course sans blog.
The road walk hasn't been difficult so far (I'll complete it tomorrow), except for issues with water. Primarily the stuff falling continuously onto me. While cloudy all day, it didn't start to rain until about 5 minutes after I had sat down and spread all my gear and food around me to start eating lunch. With only a mild epithet, I quickly relocated to a less comfortable spot under some trees and finished eating, but from then on, through the present (7 pm or so) it has just rained without ceasing. It's raining pretty hard now and I'm happy to have a tent (!). This rain is more like what I'm unfortunately used to in the NW, very low clouds, to the point that it's more like being in the cloud at times, everything humid. On reflection, I recall that the song about it not raining in California explicitly specifies *southern* California. There's always a catch in the fine print, isn't there?
After I turned off of busy highway 70, walking along Caribou road this morning was initially pretty easy until I came to a dam on the north fork Feather River, at which the road split and my road went up and up, some 2000' or so. There are a lot of penstocks in the area, and related hydro electric plants. Interesting engineering to see in passing.
Then eventually the road came down again and after some more walking I found myself walking endlessly along very long Butt Lake reservoir (not a typo, it's really called that).
So between the feather river, some creeks, and the very very long reservoir, I was near water for much of the day, yet I'm sort of dry camping tonight. I hiked beyond the water sources in the late afternoon, and I read now to my chagrin that it's quite a while tomorrow to more water; with all the rain, perhaps something will be flowing sooner, but I could ironically be in the position tomorrow of being pelted yet again with lots of rain and yet be conserving water.
I don't care. I reckon I have something on the order of 12 or at most maybe 14 miles to walk to the place on the PCT (highway 36 crossing) where Lucky and I resumed walking back in July, and then another 8 miles from there (backtracking somewhat) into Chester, where I'll get a motel and dry my stuff out, and get as much food and drink as I want, and no doubt the moment I arrive at the motel is when the rain will finally stop.
Okay, so I *do* care somewhat; I'm a bit hungry now going with a light dinner to conserve water, and it won't be fun packing up a lot of formerly dry stuff if it's still raining like this in the morning. But knowing that tomorrow is my actual and true last day of PCT walking (even if it is not actually on the PCT !) will give me whatever I need to endure. (boy, doesn't *that* sound melodramatic ...)