Thursday, July 05, 2012

Day 75-Swimming July 5th is like the 4th, but Better

Mile 1238 to Lookout Rocks at mile 1261

Even though I slept great I still didn't want to get up, but I could hear Opus moving around in his tent at 5:45. The other two were still asleep as far as I could tell, but they didn't stay that way for long once I started moving around.

The guide book called for a long descent-like twelve miles of downhill long-to the Feather River. We were thinking we'd get there for a late lunch, probably around 1 o'clock.

The downhill ended up being really smooth. A few miles in we stopped at a road crossing for water.  My breakfast was holding strong so I didn't have snack and I didn't grab any water.  After the quick break the trail continued to be gentle. I didn't know it, but the miles were flying by. It seemed like a short time after the break that Portrait and I caught up with Opus. I took the rock he had been sitting on and I grabbed a protein bar, but I only ate half:  the mosquitoes were bad and Portrait informed me there was only 3 miles to the river.

Right before the river there was a lovely little spring with a good flow. I filled up to avoid drinking river water. The river had a beautiful red arch bridge spanning it. It was anchored into two impressive cliffs. From the bridge the water looked fast up stream and calm and deep down stream. We could see FastLayne on a rock in the middle of the deep area. We made our way carefully down.

Once by the river's edge I scarfed down the rest of my bar and than got to work on my laundry. I zipped off my pant legs and washed them, my shirt, gaiters, and bandanna.  I did laundry just a few days ago, but clean doesn't last long out here.

After I had everything drying in the sun it was time to go for a swim. The water felt great. I eased my way in, but it was more out of enjoyment than reluctance to go in. I rode the current out to the big rock and sat in the water there for awhile. After my fingers turned to prunes my stomach started demanding lunch. Getting back to shore was a little more tricky-the current wasn't in my favor, but I got back okay.

Lunch was good-I had a packet of salad dressing that was sent from home with my cheese and sausage wrap.  It was too much for the wrap, but I wasn't going to waste any of those 210 calories.  I ended up drinking some of the dressing from its packet.  A tasty dessert. 

After nearly three hours of laundry, soaking, and eating we packed up. I went in the water one last time hoping to stay cool on the long climb up. I think I stayed cool up to the bridge. Looking down at the still water from the bridge made me miss the river.

The climb was long, steep in places (but never for very long), and thankfully mostly shaded. It was still a very hot climb, but it would have been so much worse in full sun. Within minutes of the climb I no longer felt clean. Within a couple miles the river felt like a thing from a dream.

I feel behind the others after leaving a small water source. I forget sometimes how much I like hiking alone. I stopped and stood in luxury for a minute when the breeze kicked up. It was strong enough to dry most of the sweat on my face. I also stopped for a solo snack break at four p.m.  I had accidentally let myself bottom out on energy. The climb was taking more of a toll than I expected.

About a half hour later I found Opus sitting on a rock having just finished his own snack. We hiked on together wondering how far ahead the other two were.

We found them at the last water source of the day. I got there feeling beat. I had no energy. I hadn't felt that drained in awhile, probably not since the Sierra's.  I even tried to yogie a chocolate bar off Portrait (Carol gave us each a chocolate bar when we left her house and Portrait still had one because we wanted to give it to Nightingale but we haven't seen her for 200 miles). But my yogie attempt failed. I drank water and at peanuts mixed with chocolate chips and started to feel better.

I think Portrait was aiming for 4 more miles, but I knew right away I wasn't going to be able to make it that far. Of course I had already lost sight of him and FastLayne. The downside to group hiking:  you have to hike until you catch up with the group. I was glad Opus was hiking with me or I might have just stopped. Thankfully the others were at an awesome overlook-an awesomely flat overlook. It was agreed upon quickly to cowboy camp on the rocks.

1 comment:

  1. Whatever happened to Tommy? Is he ahead or behind you?