92. July 11: Mile 1277.74 Campsite to Mile 1284.48 Belden, CA
Another casual and relaxing morning on the trail. Since we’re trying to kill time until Chester Glowworm and I slept in again which was once again wonderful. We had many hikers pass us going both directions before we left. In the last couple days we have finally seen thru hikers again after a couple weeks of more or less solitude at least by comparison to the desert. The whole herd exploded in Kennedy Meadows and people flipped and skipped every which way. Some are hiking southbound, others northbound, but until now it’s been pretty barren. It’s really nice, though. Most people skipped the Sierras so now that we’re back together in a sense we are all able to share our stories about how we handled the ridiculous snow.
The descent into Belden was only about six miles, but was very steep with lots of switchbacks. There were a ton of really cool views of the valley and surrounding mountains as we descended. It didn’t take long and we arrived by lunch.
This town is weird. Actually it’s not even a town, it’s a “resort”. Basically a wild west wannabe town with a saloon and some hotelish rooms with some shady cabins. It apparently hosts hippie music festivals every weekend. When we were there today, there were several hikers so we had lunch at the bar (which was really good) and then used their really slow wifi to upload blogs and catch up on the outside world.
After doing our administrative phone work all afternoon we went to the beach along the river for a quick swim before resuming our hike. And by resuming our hike I mean walked across the street to a roadside rest stop and set up camp next to a gazebo. Not sure of the legality of our campsite, but considering the trail immediately begins a 5000 foot, 13 mile ascent, I think we’ll take our chances. Ask forgiveness not permission, right?