Day 59: CS1258 to William’s Cabin Site (32.0 miles - 1290.2)
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
July 5, 2016 - I got an early start as I always do when heading to town. Plus I was woken up by the construction vehicles that I saw last night so that was my sign to get a move on.
I did have a hard time get going this morning as I was having some ankle issue but it started to loosen up pretty quick into my hike. Then less than a mile into my hike I saw a RV camper with a guy sitting outside watching the trail. He clearly tried to get my attention so I went over and saw he had a PCT hat so I’m thinking trail magic. Sure enough he was out to do trail magic with his wife. He offered me some fruit and a drink so I spent about 15 minutes chatting while enjoying the trail magic before heading back to the trail as I always like to get to town early enough in the day to avoid things from closing.
The whole morning was nice level hiking through the woods so I made great time to Buck’s trailhead where I knew I had a good climb up which turn out not too bad. Thats what I always do, expect the worst and hope for the best. Then had a nice ridge walk then the final 7 miles down to Belden. The ridge walk allowed for some nice views of where I had hiked from and to where I would be going. I think I was able to see Lassen Peak with its snow top tower over everything in the area.
The last few miles had me descend 2000 feet down to the river and Belden to where I would resupply. At first the descent wasn’t too bad then the trail started to get rough with loose rocks and lots of bushes hanging over the trail including poison oak. At times the poison oak was hard to avoid as there was a lot of it but I figured I could maybe be able to wash it off down at the river.
I arrived in Belden in plenty of time before everything closed for the day. Belden is a very small town which really is just a resort and RV park with a big building that houses a few motel rooms, a restaurant and a small general store. I believe they have lots of music festivals throughout the summer, I think one just ended as they had a lot of trash with a lot of empty beer bottles. I went to the restaurant and ordered a burger and fries. I’ve had better burgers on trail but I wasn’t going to complain as I normally don’t get a warm meal on trail. Then I resupplied in their tiny general store, not many options but I was able to make it work. Then I decide at the last minute to shower and do laundry. By the time I got all my chores done it was 7:45pm. I debated on staying the night as it seem a little late to get moving again but I really wanted to knock a few uphill miles while it was cool. However my clothes still had not dried completely but I really didn’t care so I grab them and put them in my bag a light damp but figured they would be dry by morning so I left the town of Belden before dark but knew I would be doing some night hiking with my headlamp.
The hike out of town started with crossing a big metal bridge where I crossed the highway and back on dirt trail as it started to make the long climb into Lassen National Forest. The trail started fine but soon I had rocks, bushes and more poison oak to deal with on the climb up. It was slow going and had to breakout my headlamp around 9pm as I was in thick forest. Made it to camp before 10pm. I set up as fast as I could but it was hard to see anything even with my headlamp. I think tomorrow I only have 29 miles planned as I’m pretty tired, the hike out of Belden took a lot out of me.