Sunday, July 08, 2012

Day 78-Leaving Belden

Belden at mile 1289 to mile 1295

The last thing I did before leaving the Belden Rave was dunk my shirt in the river and put it on while it was wonderfully cool.  It had been hot all day-the revelers from the night before had spent the day asleep in the shade or by the river sunning themselves or cooling off. With a 3,000 foot climb out of town it didn't seem like a good idea to start hiking in the hot afternoon, so we waited. At 5 o'clock we packed up, at 5:30 we swam, and at 6 o'clock we walked over the river on the bridge out of town. Below us the ravers waved.

Where the trail left the road there was an old stamp mill-a massive piece of machinery used to crush rocks and separate out the precious metals. It was a pretty neat old piece of machinery. We joked about camping there, but moved on-we did have 6 miles of uphill to do, after all.

Our day of waiting paid off:  the trail was incomplete shadow, the sun having just sunk behind one of the closest ridges. While walking I would occasionally hit a wall of hot air where the trail had only just entered the shade. It was enough of a taste of what the hike out of town could have been like to make me glad we waited. 

Only a couple of miles out of town we saw Cookie and Chief looking for a campsite. We chatted about town for a minute and wished them luck on finding a campsite on the side of a hill. We still had miles left to get to the cabin campsite, so on we went.

The day turned cooler as we hiked and the miles went by with ease.  We checked the GPS and found out we were much closer than we thought. I somehow ended up leading the way to camp (a whole .6) with FastLayne and Portrait right behind me.

Sadly there was no cabin at Wilson Cabin Site, but it was still a nice place with a creek on the edge of the camp. Old metal tools that were covered in rust hung from trees and there were a few rusted frying pans near the fire ring. With the pine trees and the old metal objects I was reminded strongly of the AT.  It was a nice place for three AT thru-hikers.

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