July 26, 2014
1295 miles total
Just as beautiful as last nights sunset was the sunrise this morning. Arctic woke me up for the show. It was amazing! Since we cowboy camped we got an early start today. We were on the trail a bit after 7, which took me by surprise.
Today we had one heck of a downhill trek to the town of Belden. Something like going from 6,000′ to 2,200′ in a few miles. The views from the trail were amazing. At one point there was a trail visible with a huge amount of switchbacks. I was sure that it was our decent, but alas we “lucked out” on a different trail.
As I climbed down I started hearing loud music. At first I thought it was from a car, but it was loud and not moving. Eventually I remembered reading somewhere that a trail town held raves. As I finally made it to the bottom. Of the trail I was shocked by the amount of tents and people on the “trail” aka the road.
I made my way to the restaurant, to wait for Arctic. It was overwhelming to say the least. Eventually Arctic found me and we sat down to order some lunch. Things were a bit slow, due, I am sure to the large amount of people to feed. But the food was food, and it tasted good.
We bumped into a few other hikers throughout the day. Everyone seemed to want to skip the fairly big climb in the heat. Since we too were waiting we ended up joining in the river lounging festivities. The water felt good on such a hot day.
We finally found it cool enough around 6 pm. We were both a bit dehydrated from our river lounging but we needed to be out of the people scene. Going from a few hikers to more people than I have seen since Kickoff, it was a bit much.
Tonight finally after a lengthy climb I am happy to be in my tent next to a river. The sounds of nature pumping though my ears… Good stuff.