Day 94-97: Bone Dry to Gushing

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Day 94: Drakesbad Guest Ranch (Mile 1353.5)-Badger Mountain (Mile 1371); 17.5 miles

After a hearty breakfast at the Drakesbad Guest Ranch, we set out northward on the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail was mostly flat and the weather pleasant, with a few puffy clouds forming over Lower Twin Lake.

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We walked through a spacious pine forest. Wildflowers and small clusters of grass grew where gaps in the tree canopy allowed light to reach the ground.

Day 90-93: Halfway Between Mexico and Canada

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Day 90: Belden (Mile 1289)-Myrtle Flat (Mile 1296); 7 miles

We spent the first half of the day in the tiny town of Belden, which is tucked into a narrow canyon next to the Feather River.

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At the Belden trail angels’ cabin, which is appropriately named Little Haven, we took care of all the small tasks that had been piling up.

Soon, though, it was time to hit the trail again. We walked uphill out of the valley for a few miles. The climb was mostly forested, although some areas were burned and exposed. Even late in the day, the climb was hot.

Day 85-89: Lightweight and Inexpensive Backpacking Gear

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Our lightweight packs greatly assist us in walking 20 miles per day on the Pacific Crest Trail. In this post, amidst our normal daily highlights, we also describe some of the gear that helps us travel light.

Day 85: Zero in Sierra City

Shutterbug picked up his new shoes in Sierra City. We have been wearing running shoes for our entire PCT hike. When your pack is light, running or trail running shoes have several advantages over traditional hiking boots: 1) running shoes are very light, often half the weight of hiking boots 2) running shoes are more breathable and less sweaty in the heat 3) running shoes dry out more quickly if you have to ford a creek, and 4) many people already own running shoes so no new purchase is necessary. We have been very happy with our running shoes on this trip, with only two blisters each in over 1200 miles.

Day 79-84: Walking Through Challenges

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Day 79: Echo Lake (Mile 1094.5)-Heather Lake (Mile 1102.5); 8 miles

Leaving the comforts of Echo Lake, we headed off into the Desolation Wilderness, where we walked past all sorts of lakes, big and small.

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Unfortunately Shutterbug developed bad stomach issues, making frequent breaks a necessity. We weren’t sure of the cause, perhaps overeating in town. His discomfort was bad enough that we opted to stop and set up camp early. Though we hadn’t covered as many miles as we’d hoped, modifying our plan was the best thing to do.

Day 80: Heather Lake (Mile 1102.5)-Barker Creek (Mile 1125); 22.5 miles

After a good night’s sleep, Shutterbug’s stomach was feeling good enough to hike, though not perfect. We continued on and were both excited by the many beautiful lakes we passed, some teeming with fish.