Belden Resort(1284.3) to Cold Spring(1302.9) 18.6 Miles
I am totally focused on making miles for the next two weeks. I am one hundred percent dedicated to not getting sucked into the vortex of town. Even though I woke up much later than I had planned on I was determined to get out of Belden as quickly as possible. I packed up my things and said a quick goodbye to my friends. I even skipped breakfast at the restaurant. The Wolf Pack was staying in town to do laundry and to take care of other town chores so I hiked out alone. I had a ridiculous climb ahead of me and it was only going to get hotter as the day progressed. I was looking at a very hot and exposed fourteen mile uphill climb. Over that distance I would gain about six thousand feet of elevation. Yikes!!! The one positive note about the climb is that there was water every few miles.
I busted out the first five miles with relative ease. After that the wheels fell off of my wagon. I didn't get started today until ten o'clock and the heat was really getting to me. I stopped at almost every water source. I felt like I was hiking through molasses. I just couldn't get a rhythm going. I tried music, audiobooks, and podcasts, but they all failed to distract me. I was determined to make it to the top of the mountain today. I didn't want to hike a short day. I just kept my head down and trudged along the trail.
About three quarters of the way up the mountain I stopped for an extended break. I ate a few snacks and soaked my feet in the stream. That really helped to refresh my mind and body. As I was getting ready to leave I noticed something that really upset me. According to the principle of Leave No Trace any time you go to the bathroom it should be at least 100 feet off of the trail and 200 feet from any water source. Someone had dug a cathole right next to the trail and the water. Ugh, some people have no clue.
I was determined to make it into camp before dark, so I forced myself to pick up the pace. After fourteen grueling miles I finally made it to the top of the climb. I was drenched with sweat and dirt, but I was stoked to have made it. For awhile I really didn't think I had it in me. I started the climb dehydrated and walked through the hottest part of the day. I had a relatively easy four miles to make it into camp. As I was walking downhill I got tangled up with my hiking poles and almost fell down. I somehow managed to stay upright, but in the process I gave myself a bloody nose. I kept walking while I tried to get the bleeding under control. As a result I walked right past the 1,300 mile marker. I quickly realized my mistake and I had to backtrack .1 miles. I am so close to hitting the halfway point now. I can't believe that it has taken me almost three months to make it this far. The good news is that now I'm busting out 100 miles every four to five days. I should be done with California in two weeks at this pace.
I even managed to make it into camp before dark. Cold Spring lived up to its name. The water was ice cold and it was flowing really fast. I took the opportunity to wash my socks, shorts, and bloody bandana. The water was so cold it made my hands numb. After a hot and grueling day it felt good. Once I washed out the bandana I used it to take a hobo bath. It felt good to get into my sleeping bag mostly clean.
I'm hoping for a big mile day tomorrow. My two week goal is to average at least twenty five miles per day. Since I fell short of that today I have some miles to make up. I'm just happy that I made it out of Belden and hiked a decent amount of miles. When hiking out of the last few towns I have not done more than ten miles.
"One of the commonest mistakes and one of the costliest is thinking that success is due to some genius, some magic – something or other which we do not possess. Success is generally due to holding on, and failure to letting go. You decide to learn a language, study music, take a course of reading, train yourself physically. Will it be success or failure? It depends upon how much pluck and perseverance that word “decide” contains. The decision that nothing can overrule, the grip that nothing can detach will bring success. Remember the Chinese proverb, “With time and patience, the mulberry leaf becomes satin.”
- Maltbie Davenport Babcock