Day 118: July 29th
Mile 1662 (Seiad Valley) to Mile 1680.4
We planned an early start this morning and got going on the half mile road walk to the trail at 5:30 am. A lot of the hikers camped with us at the RV park started at least an hour earlier.
This climb is a big topic among hikers, who dread the 5,000 foot elevation gain over 13 miles, the exposure, and the heat. As we found out today, it is not any steeper than the climb out of Belden and is nicely graded to get you up quickly. The early start meant a somewhat cool morning which also helped since there isn’t much shade. And the exposure just gives you beautiful views – this last section of California (yes!!! we are almost at the state border) is not to be missed.
We completed 15 miles by 2 pm and took a siesta under some shady trees, fixed an early dinner at 4:30 pm, and hiked another 3 miles to our campsite high in the mountains.
We forgot to mention meeting our first true southbounders yesterday, Mike and Cam, who started June 16. They had encountered 48 northbounders in one day! No wonder we have a hard time finding unoccupied campsites anymore.