July 8, Day 78 – The aftermath of a fire

I slept in again and ended up not leaving camp until 8 after getting water and talking to 2 other hikers. They would be the last people I would see until 3 when I got to Bear Creek. Today reminded me of the desert. It was hot, dry and offered little shade. My entire morning consisted of hiking through a portion of forest that burned last year. They just reopened the trail in the last few months. It was eerie, desolate and downright depressing. There were also a lot of logging trucks going up and down the many forest service roads we crossed. They were clearing out all of the burnt trees so I can’t be mad about seeing a bunch of them today but it made for a noisy morning. Around 2pm I was back in tree cover, after crossing the middle fork of the Feather River. I then went 3 more miles to take my lunch/dinner break at Bear Creek. I had pushed myself all day to not take breaks until Bear Creek so I could get out of the burn area and into some nice cool water. At this point I had done 18 miles and stopped for maybe 30 minutes. I was pretty exhausted. I took a 2 hour break and ate a lot of food. At 5 I packed my things and climbed up to lookout point. It was 3000′ above Bear Creek but it was a fairly gentle slope to get up there. I enjoyed the great views it offered me to the south and east and then moved on. I had 8 more miles to do for the day and it was 7:30. I checked my phone and noticed I had service. Better service than I expected. I called my mom for a bit then called my friend Pat. We were able to talk for 40 minutes. About 2 minutes after we hung up, I lost service until I got to the road, it was pretty good timing. I made it to the road into Quincy and my camping spot for the night at 10pm. Tomorrow I will wake up at 6, stick my thumb out, and hopefully hitch a ride to Morning Thunder Cafe for pancakes, omelets, shakes, and whatever else they will put on a plate for me. Today was my longest hiking day ever and it feels good. I’ll celebrate tomorrow at breakfast.

Miles: 33.9 Total Miles: 1267.9

The destruction caused by the North Complex fire in 2020. It was the sixth largest in California’s modern history.

Leave a Reply