July 12, 2015
Highway 49 – Sierra City (1197.5) to A Tree Spring (1220.0)
22.5 PCT miles today
1264.4 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 4,628 ft, – 2,794 ft
So as it turns out, Northern California rocks. Today was beautiful in a whole new and unique way that kept us energized and motivated throughout our hike. The day’s main feature were the Sierra Buttes, an epic little mountain range made especially stunning by the fact that there isn’t really anything else like it around. It is a congregation of mountains, maybe 4 or 5, that tower thousands of feet above the river valley below and feature sharp, rocky peaks. Our hike took us right up to them, then had us traverse all the way around them so we got views from every angle. The beauty didn’t stop there. We must have hiked past about 20 lakes today, most of which were huge masses of water at least a mile down the ridge from our trail. There were still patches of wildflowers, although they are changing with the changing environment, and there were green rolling mountains as far as the eye could see.
The weather was cloudy and cold for almost the entire day. We didn’t mind at all, especially since this area could easily have temps in the 90’s and we got to hike in our cozy long-sleeve shirts all day long. Fortunately, it hasn’t rained for the last 3 days, but that hasn’t stopped nature from filling the sky with threatening rain clouds and cold wind. Everyone agrees that our class of hikers has experienced some extra bizarre weather, and today was no exception.
My feet did even better today than yesterday. Pickles and I listened to our world history audiobook in the afternoon which helped keep us both distracted from the typical tired soreness in our feet, and we both felt great when we got to camp after 22.5 miles. Today’s success has helped us feel much more confident about the days, weeks, and months to come. We’re looking forward to another good night of sleep and another butte-iful day of hiking tomorrow.