10 Jun Day 48 – Belden
At mile 1286.8. Hiked 16.5 miles today.
I ran up on a grouse with it’s brood of baby chicks. The mother hen ran around in loops on the trail in front of me all the while fluttering loudly and angrily. The hen performed its job of distraction because at first I didn’t notice the chicks. The wayward chicks that had not already disappeared in the undergrowth competed with me for mother hen’s attention. One second the hen was charging toward me, the next it was running angrily toward her chicks in an effort to herd them out of site. It was quite a show and as I walked on it got me to thinking what chance birds like these would have against the bobcat I saw yesterday.
I continue to see people that I know or met and many new thru-hikers as well. I saw 4-Eyes again after meeting her when I was hiking south from Walker Pass. Easy to spot with her skirt and glasses. I also saw Farmer again (3rd time) sitting at the bar in Belden. Farmer is going south now, but once through the Sierras he may flip again back to Canada and go SOBO. If he does that, we should pass again somewhere between here and Canada. I first met Farmer on the trail just before Inspiration Pass near Wrightville. Farmer was at the bar with Calamity. She had been hanging out with Young Englishmen, Oscar and Shane. Those two carrât a large wooden rubberband gun in their packs. They are among the “intense” hikers. I heard that Ninja Fabric quit the trail due to foot injury so the young German men are likely bummed. NF was quite a personality. At Hikertown, I witnessed a very animated rap show she put on for her followers. This brings up another phenomena that I have observed. One or more girls tend to form the core of any sizable group. I rarely see 4 or more guys as a group. Case in point was the Ninja Fabric group, the Jenn group, and the Brits and Aussies group. I have also observed that one girl is the leader. All above observations have to do with youth. The over 50 generation is an entirely different matter.
I met a man about my age named 2nd Breakfast ((NOBO). He told me that the May snowstorm dumped 10 feet in Bucks Lake. Maybe he meant March snow. I had just hiked through iBucks Lake and didn’t see a single snowflake.
This morning Hollywood explained how his feet were frozen in the Sierras. It wasn’t frostbite, rather all ten of his toes became Christmas toes. That means they are numb and that it will take until Christmas for feeling to be restored. Others in the blizzard had true frostbite.
Tonight I am staying at the Braaten’s Little Haven in Belden. No WiFi. No cellular service. Brenda is a friendly host and has thought of everything for thru-hikers. She only takes donations to cover expense.
Belden Town Info
I had a double cheeseburger at Caribou Crossroads. The new owner sat down with me and showed me old photos of the great Belden landslide of 1984. Belden is in a canyon with the North Fork of the Feather River running through. In 84 the river ran high wiping out the bridge adjacent to Caribou Crossing and under cutting the railroad in several places. This river was also the site of one of the California gold rushes. The famous gold rush of 1848 took place on the drainage of the American River whose headwaters I crossed yesterday.
Carribou Crossing was again under threat in July of 2012 when the Chips fire nearly took it out. Firemen pumped water directly from the river to save it.
Today Caribou Crossing hosts an annual trout fishing contest. There are some monster trout in these streams.
Rain is expected tomorrow and temps will drop. I also had a huge and heavy resupply. I’ll see how it goes.
Here is a lake view.
Here are views at the beginning of descent into Belden canyon.