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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Mon, Jul 20th, 2009
Start: Middle Fork Feather River
End: Three Lakes Trail
Daily Distance: 30
Trip Distance: 1,278.0
Entry Visits: 557
Journal Visits: 132,518
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
I did a little read ahead last night and sure enough I was going to pay dearly for dropping down so low last night. There was a 3000 ft climb over the first ten miles. I didn't fancy that in the heat of the day so I got up early and was on the trail well before 6:00 am. Like last night, the trail was cut into a steep forested ridge so there were quite a few switchbacks but it was well shaded from the rising sun. The gradient was steady pretty much the whole way up and it was not as difficult as a lot of the other climbs I've done on this trip. One thing I did notice was how tall the trees were. I would be looking down the steep ridge to trees whose base was 60 ft below me and the tops of them were towering above me. This forest seemed very vibrant and healthy with very few downed trees for a change.
The first stretch took me up to yet another Bear Creek with a bridge, a very civilized way of crossing fast flowing creeks. After that it was dense forest all the way up until it broke out to a sun baked open ridge at the top. There was a large rock with a flat platform above a sheer drop - not surprisingly it was called Lookout Rock. The views all around were spectacular but despite that I wasn't going anywhere near that rock.
After another mostly forested section I came to Big Creek Rd. Just before there was a sign from some new trail angels that offered hospitality in their home. It was about lunchtime and I really needed a shower badly so I thought I would try to hitch a ride. I couldn't call because there was no cell service. I haven't seen any bars on the phone since two days before Sierra City. It would seem that AT&T has conceded this area to its competitors. That's why the journal has had a gap and it will continue for a while until I can get a good signal again.
There was almost no traffic on this road going westbound and after a while I gave up trying to hitch a ride. The timing was bad because a 12+ mile dry stretch was coming up and if I didn't get through that today I wouldn't make the PO in Belden before it closes at 1:00pm.
So I ate lunch and moved on to a nice spring where I tanked up with water for the dry spell. It is taking a lot more planning now for water as the area gets much drier. The trail was a lot gentler than the morning's uphill. I came upon a rare sight since the High Sierras - a meadow. It wasn't waterlogged like those I have had to plough through.
The trail then opened up to a clear ridge with extensive views. In particular there were some beautiful lakes. Gold Lake was nestled into the mountain side and looked a challenge to reach. Silver Lake was much larger and I crossed a trail that went down to it. After that the trail was all downhill. I reached the creek which ended the dry stretch and went on another mile before calling it a day. I was hoping to find a ridge that might keep the mosquitoes at bay but no such luck. I ended up keeping my head net on while cooking dinner and putting Deet on my hands. And then I jumped in the tent as quickly as possible where the little devils can't get at me.
Overall a good day that positions me well for a short walk into Belden tomorrow.
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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