Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 29: June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012.

Day: 29    Daily Miles: 49   Total Miles: 1255.75   Hours Hiking: 15.5   7:25am-11:00pm

Listen to the audio journal above or Download June 22nd Audio File Here

Day 29
The Sierra Buttes and Deer Lake.

June 22, Day 29. I made it 49 miles to ending mile 1255.75. That was about 5 miles up from the Middle Fork of the Feather River bridge, perched on the side of the hill. Point 0665256 E 4408342 N. Ohh yesterday. It wasn't a bad day. I could definitely have been better on account of it was raining and it rained through the night. Otherwise, it was actually a really awesome day. Lets see. I woke up and go moving at 7:30am, a late start. That was on account of 1. being up until 1am but 2. there were clouds in the morning which, I was kind of on a ridge, but the clouds blocked the sun after it first rose, so it made it seem like it was earlier than it actually was. A lot of waking up times is based on kind of how sensitive you are to the light and what it looks like and it was just not as bright as it should have been because of the clouds. Still a little windy in the morning. It didn't really warm up, for most of the day actually it stayed pretty cool. The first oh... 7 until about 1pm, it was more or less sunny, partly cloudy - the sun coming in and out. The walk along the ridge by the Sierra Buttes, looking down on Gold Lake and all the other lakes was pretty nice. Sections of snow in 
the trees. I actually didn't see anyone until later that day. But um, I just kept trucking along. Not a whole lot to mention or remember. You do forget how much volcanic terrain there is out there. You think a lot of it is granite, it's just how I kind of think of the Sierras but ever since Sonora pass, you're in and the high points are volcanic on top of the granite. So, I mean the Sierra Buttes themselves are sedimentary it looks like but then you have these huge mudflows all around it - this kind of tan-grey with these rounded volcanics inside of it. There was a big kind of peak of that stuff where you have to climb up along side, then go down the back, then literally repeat the same thing over again right by the Sierra county line. But uhh yeah, coming on around 1pm the skies definitely got grey and clouded and I was kind of zoned out listening to a book called Snow Crash, which I just finished actually today, which is really good. And I really just kind of zones out and I had a big climb up and up and up back to the same place where in 2009, I had kicked a branch on a downed tree across the trail and it broke the second time I kicked it easily and my foot went through and literally impaled my calf on the broken sharp point. So I remember that spot pretty well. I had to hobble for like half a day. It was not bad though. Just being zoned out is a nice way to go up a hill. You don't think about it too much, or you don't try and think about it anyways, but when you do think about I'm going up hill right now... you just try and take your mind off of it, because hills suck, a lot. After the hill you hit this ridge where 
Into the big trees around the Sierra Buttes.
it's cold and windy, a few sprinkles here and there. Below the fire lookout tower, the rain...a first wave of it started, so I pulled out my rain stuff, which I had never used before and found out that it'll work, it just definitely needs some modifications. Whoever designed the dry ducks poncho was a moron. Like, it needs...its your typical poncho shape, rectangle front and back and comes down a little bit over the shoulders, but there is no way to connect the front flap and the back flap. So, if it's windy at all it just blows around and doesn't do jack for you. So I'm going to have to rig something, some kind of ties between the front and back so that it'll stay on you, cover you even if it's windy. So you know, fiddling with that for 10-15 minutes, I had lunch and basically just kept going down trail. It didn't really rain. I met a section hiker who was just camped out in his tent. He gave me an apple, I had him sign my witness log, since he was the first person I had seen in a good 1.5 days. And then I kept going and it rained a little bit more (harder) for about 20 minutes and then it stopped actually for the rest of the afternoon and evening. From that point, it was pretty much all more or less level and downhill until you get to the real steep part and drop down into 4 or 6 miles or something into the Middle Fork of the American River, which would have been awesome and great and easy, which it was, but...having had rained and then not wind or sunshine, the overgrown plants in the canyon were sopping wet. So, as I had to go down the hill, the plants are towering above you and beside you and over the trail, they completely soaked my shoes and I was bashing them with my trekking poles but still wet, wet wet... I made it down to the bridge at about 8:30pm something. I didn't really stop, just kept going. I wanted to make it as far up the canyon as I could possible make it before I stopped, so that my climb out tomorrow would easier. Which all in all the climb itself is really easy, it's just long. They made it pretty graded. I passed Bear Creek, which I thought may be a good point to stop, and said "ahh, screw it". It was barley 9:50pm so I just kept going. At 11pm, I passed a little, what looks like to be an old overgrown road, but when your on a canyon wall, one flat spot looks really great compared to a little flat spot on trail. I could have easily made a 50 yesterday, but I knew that camping would have been very difficult, so I didn't keep going. .....phew up that hill finally... I then got all of my stuff in order - dinner - and the rest of it (for the next day). And just as I was putting my head down - I didn't set up my tarp because it hadn't rained since 4 or 5 O'clock or even threatened. You know partly cloudy, broken up clouds. Just as I put my head down, it starts sprinkling on me and I knew from then on, it was going to be a wet night, which it was... Instead of actually setting up my tarp, I just pulled it out, threw it over me and said screw it and went to sleep. It worked out fine, you know it just creates condensation on the inside so you get your sleeping bag wet. It isn't so big a deal because you can dry it out the next day. So I spent the night kind of tossing and turning as periodic rain showers dumped over me. The one last one at 4 in-the-frickin-morning was the worst. It poured real good, I'm not sure how long, but after that it stopped. I woke up in the morning and the trees were dripping and it was actually blue skies above me. I got up fairly early and tried to shake out all my stuff so I could make it to Belden early enough to hit Belden and then get the heck out of town and hopefully make it to the Belden Resort or whatever to get a dinner or something as an extra meal and maybe hit up their little store. So I'll hit the midpoint in 2 days, HECK YEAH!
Day 27 Panorama - 6 miles from Donner Pass