Mile reached: 1277.6 (+27.9)
High: Even though I took a lazy day I still did almost 30 miles
Low: Mosquitoes and ants causing problems at camp
Knowing that I was at low elevation and had a huge climb up from the river, I tried to get up early with only mild success. I was still the last one out of the campsite. Much to my surprise, the climb up was beautiful despite some encroaching poison oak. Primarily, it was shaded, which moderated the temperature. It also had water in contrast to the descent.
By late morning, I had finally topped out and reached some ledges that had line of sight to the town of Quincy. Sure enough, I had 4G and several bars. Due to a mixture of the phone calamity and the terrain, this was the first time I had decent internet access since Tahoe. So, I spent a couple hours lounging in the sun with my phone out. Oddly, I also learned that no one else had received any trail magic the previous day.
Shortly before I left, “Smoke Break” arrived and brought me some news. He was hiking with a guy named “Beehive”, who bricked his phone while trying to an OS update using marginal WiFi. Back in Sierra City, he decided that he needed to go to Reno, and as chance would have it, I had met a woman who was driving there and was willing to give him a ride. Apparently, when she came looking for him he was on the phone with Apple support and was installing iTunes on a local’s computer. So, she didn’t find him. It ended up taking him two days to hitch there instead. The final irony was that the Apple store in Reno couldn’t help him, and he had to buy a new phone anyway.
The afternoon was pleasant mostly just hiking through forest. I took several breaks, one to cook lunch out of the breeze. Near the end of the day, the views opened up a bit as the trail traversed along a cliff. It would have been a beautiful site for camping, but I wanted to get a little closer to the town of Belden in order to get in early the next day. So, I found a little camp spot next to a creek and a meadow. I sat around for 15 minutes doing camp chores, and the bugs didn’t seem problematic, so I cowboy camped. But, as the sun set the mosquitoes got worse and the carpenter ants just wouldn’t quit. I finally broke down and set up my tent, which turned out to be a great decision.