​Day 88: mile 1242.9 to Buck’s Lake

7.12.18. 20.6 miles.

I woke up today before my alarm, and I noticed that my alarm never went off at the time it was supposed to! So I don’t think my alarm even went off yesterday morning! Anyways, I got ready and had to also prepare my breakfast and snacks for the day since I didn’t do it last night, which added time. I got hiking around 6:10 and said see ya later to Dirty Money, Sausage, and Renee.

 Gnat & fly infested forest

Gnat & fly infested forest

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I was very happy with my speed this morning, doing 10 miles by 10 am, a goal I generally like to strive for. But the gnats this morning were so terrible at the beginning until right before the Feather River, I was just waving my arms in front of my face to get rid of them constantly. The river was so pretty, but it was still pretty early for a longer break, so I decided to push on another 3 miles to Bear Creek, for water and a swim break. It was also at the top of a mini climb, so I felt more accomplished and deserving of a water break at that point. I took a break for about an hour, sitting in the river and cooling down as it was already hot and I had already been hiking in the rain jacket to protect the sunburn. I got water and filtered, and ate some snacks, before putting the jacket on and starting a super big climb. It was over 3,000 ft in 7ish miles, and actually wasn’t too bad, but it was just so hot and I was in the jacket, so at every good shade opportunity 2-3 miles apart I’d stop and drink more water and take the jacket off and sit in the shade for a bit.

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I got to a water source close to the top of the climb and there were lots of people sitting in the shade on the trail past it so I sat down with them and started eating some of my lunch and enjoying the shade. I had to keep hiking though, and really wanted to reach the top before taking a longer break. On the way up to the very top of the climb to Lookout Rock there was a sign about a trail angel in Buck’s Lake. I took a picture because I thought it was sweet, and sort of fantasized about stopping, but had no intention of going to town. When I got to the top though, Dirty Money, Sausage, and Renee were there about to call the trail angel, and asked if I wanted to join. The answer was yes, no hesitation. She answered the phone and told us there was plenty of room and she’d pick us up from the road at 5 pm!

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We were pretty stoked. We had no idea what this was, but I just really wanted a shower and to take care of my sunburn. Ice cream would be nice too. We booked the 3.6 miles in a little more than an hour, getting there just before 5. Must be a record! Town legs are definitely a thing! Our trail angel picked us up and brought us back to her cabin. There were many other hikers there, people I’ve been seeing the last couple days, and this place is incredible! They’ve asked for privacy since they’re not always up here to host, so I don’t want to be too detailed, but there was laundry, showers, a trip to the grocery store, charging, a huge selection of toiletries & first aid, and we were made dinner: a chicken casserole, veggies, a salad, just amazing! And we all get to sleep on the huge deck at this cabin. So amazing, and the people and their friends/ volunteers are so sweet and kind. Also, they’re making us breakfast in the morning! Crazy!

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I love how today was just going to be another day trying to get closer to Belden, but turned into a totally different experience that was amazing! And I got to meet and socialize with new hikers which is always fun. I’m still blown away by these people’s generosity, and it was so so unexpected. The trail does provide.