Smiles, not Miles
The day before was a late one, so i decided to delay my alarm until 5:20 (Woohoo really sleeping i haha). At 5:10 I heard a twig snap near my tent. I woke thinking that Vincent was up and starting to pack up. I looked over and there was no light or movement. I looked again and saw a large dark figure about 5 feet below Vincents tent. I raised up on one elbow to get a better look. As I did I realized it was a cinnimon collered bear about the size of Vincents tent.
The bear heard thesound from my sleeping pad as I raised up and looked right at me. As soon as he noticed me he tuked tail and ran. Whew, what a close one! Once Vincent woke up I told him about what happened and he was all smiles!
After the jolt of the morning, it was time to get going and there was 1 thing on Vincent and my minds, Feather River swimming hole! We were a short 13 miles that was mostly downhill to the river and we were excited to see what was boasted as one of the bet swimming holes on the trail. I pressed on from camp having bye and started my assault on the downhill.
As I twisted and winded through the forest, I began to smell a very aromatic flower that reminded me of a magnolia. I searched to mind no tree, but ever time I smelled it, I would find a bush that looked much like an Azalea bush. I took note and some pictures before hiking on.
The heat started to rise as I decended towards the river. I could hear the Cicadas song of summer started up and I knew it was getting got. I twisted and winded and finally a large bridge spanning the river came into view and soon saw 4 or 5 hikers in the water below. I hiked over to the river bank, dropped my stuff and got in. What a treat!
This was so refreshing, the water wasnt too cold, the cliff jumping was awesome, and everyone was in high spirits! The group all hung out after the swim and had lunch. I did a little laundry, and enjoyed the break in the sun. Unfortunatly, it was time to pay the pipper.
We had decended to 2900 feet to get to the river. The climb on the other side would bring us to 5800 feet. Of course it was the hottest part of the day to boot! I finished lunch, packed up, and was soon huffing it up the trail. Big up, little down, and a big up twisted me through the woods. The humidity was up and I was sweating like no tomorrow. When I finally stopped for water it was a welcome break. Slippy (Az) and OneStep (UK) were there and we chatted on about Arizona and the AZT.
Once again I pressed on further into the pine forest, which with the gain came a little cool air for relief. The views opened up and we soon came to lookout rock. Most of the guys were headed to a trail Angels Cabin. Vincent and myself had another 10 miles to go and it was already 5pm! Although gorgeous, the miles werent going to hike themselves!
I pressed on, and after winding through the woods solo I popped out to a road wherer I had just missed some trail magic. Darn! I pressed on and soon found the Rolling Stoned group (large group of 12ish hikers that rolled together) and reunited caught up for a minute. Looking at the sky and the fading light, I said my goodbyes and pushed the last 2 miles before camp.
I was most definitly the last to roll into camp and there were not many spots. Apparently this was the most popular camp in the woods! After a good long 15 hr day, I was tired and didnt care where I slept. I found a spot, plopped down, made dinner, stretched a little, and crawled my beat butt in bed. Tomorrow is another day, and the miles can wait until then =)