Friday, July 13, 2012

13 July - Day 83 - Lala Land

From Mile 1280 to Cold Springs (Mile 1308.8)
Total PCT Miles Hiked today: 28.8

Dionysus here. Friday the thirteenth: that day of the year when both playful and malicious faeries intervene in the paths of men. They interject a dash of whimsy (or torture depending on the faery) into the otherwise humdrum state of affairs - I'm not at all sure what passes for humdrum right now, but you get the picture. In our case they orchestrated significant torture: a 4000 foot drop down a river valley into town then back up 4000 feet on the other side in the blazing sunlight, temps in the 90s°, etc.

But we also had the most whimsical town stop yet. We climbed down 4000 feet to the town of Belden. They were hosting a rave this weekend so a bunch of young dance fiends and divas were costuming up for the night as we mowed through two restaurant breakfasts. It was a fascinating cultural divide between the quiet / dazed / dirty / smelly thru hikers and the kiddies with their carefully painted nails (boys with plaid nails - PLAID how cool!) and perfected ensembles (as dashing in the dark or the light of glow sticks as the light of day, no doubt) socializing, listening to music, and getting themselves prepared for a very fun weekend. It was interesting to see two subcultural groups with such strongly defined and idiosyncratic style in both appearance and attitude. Both raver and thru hiker were immediately recognizable and both groups were clearly marginalized from the other "normal" town folk. It was a very fun and unusual experience. I wish I could convey better how so.

So we ended up talking to a cool young guy from Mexico. He was there for the music and was very interested in our hike. Never got your name, man, but I hope you have a great time.

Parts of the trail were so reminiscent of southern Cali. It was such a blast through time. It is hard to believe that it was so recently that we were crossing the Mojave. Seems like ages ago.

We passed the 1300 mile mark. Wow.

Oooh, another interesting feature of the hike today was that we crossed the river that divides the Sierra Nevada range to the south and the southern Cascade Range to the north. That means we are done with the Sierras - we hiked the entire range. Now we've entered the volcanic Cascade range which we will follow all the way through Washington.

For now we end the day at a beautiful camp site with clean cold water within reach. Life is good.

Happy trails.

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