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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Start: Jackson Meadows Reservoir Saddle
End: Foot of Sierra Buttes
Daily Distance: 14
Trip Distance: 1,198.0
Entry Visits: 829
Journal Visits: 132,535
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
Day 70 - 1200 Miles Complete
I got up early as I didn't want to waste yesterday's effort and be late to the post office. The trail was mostly downhill as it maneuvered its way down a steep canyon to a pair of bridge crossings of Milton Creek. Not sure why this relatively small creek deserved bridges compared to some of the torrents I have had to wade across as it would have been easy to hop across on the dry rocks. The only other notable feature of this part of the trail was the large number of blown down trees blocking the trail.
There was a direct path to Sierra City but it was a detour from the PCT. I am still a purist about keeping to the PCT and since I had enough time I took the PCT route. There was another bridge crossing, this one across the deeper and faster Haypress Creek followed by yet another over the North Yuba River. And then I reached Highway 49 nearly two miles out of Sierra City. It wasn't a very busy road and the PCT trailhead was in a straight and fast stretch of the road. I wasn't too hopeful about getting a ride so I started walking and hitchhiking as I went. To my surprise the second car stopped and I was in Sierra City by 10:45 am.
Believe it or not I got to the post office before my express package and had to wait for the incoming mail to show up. While waiting I consumed a pint of Ben and Jerry’s cherry ice cream. Then, with the personal business taken care of I went and had lunch - fish and chips were the specialty and it was very good. Of course I couldn't resist dessert either. I then retrieved my resupply box, sorted through the old food I hadn't used, packed what I needed for four days and sent all the surplus back home.
There were quite a few hikers in Sierra City and a lot more came in during the day. The general store had benches and chairs on the porch and that was where most of us hung out during the heat of the day. It got over 90 deg F and I had to keep my pack in the shade as all the candy bars and M&M's in the trail mix were starting to melt.
There were a couple of overnight options in town. One was to camp on the church lawn and hope to be spared a shower from the sprinkler system that came on during the night. The other was a hotel opposite the general store but that was probably going to be a rather warm night as the only air conditioning was leave the windows open the old fashioned way. But the immediate next section of trail involved a 2500 ft climb. Myself and an Australian hiker, trail name Vegemite, who I had met several times, were more inclined to tackle the first part of the slope tonight after the sun had gone down. So we went and had dinner, found a ride to the trailhead and started up the hill about 7:00 pm. It was a little hot and humid to start with but cooled off nicely as we got a little higher.
I ended up climbing about 1500 ft to a ridge just above tree line at the base of the tallest of the Sierra Buttes. I got the tent up just before dark and since I had already eaten dinner I retired quite early for the evening.
On the way up I went through the 1200 mile marker but there was no obvious sign of the exact point. It was in the thick forested area somewhere - another major milestone nevertheless.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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