Friday, August 5, 2011

July 29, 2011

Start: 1240.2
End: 1271.5

Today was the first day hiking day completely snow-free since June 11! What an amazing feeling it is to have real trail under your feet all day. In commemoration of the occasion we one-upped what we did yesterday by doing an ultra-marathon distance today. We completed 50k (31miles)! It's the longest distance I've in one day to date, and I look forward to setting a few more PRs before the end of the trail.

Lately the weather has been warm and we've been wanting to get in bigger miles, so we decided to get up earlier to beat the heat as well as get in more miles. We were on the trail just after 6am and enjoyed a warm morning descending a few thousand feet down to the Middle Fork Feather River and, according to the guidebook, the official end of the Sierras.

It was a fast morning with all the downhill, and we had gotten in 11 miles by 10am. The only problem with dropping elevation is that you usually end up having to climb back up at least as much as you just descended. After a break near the river we started the long, hot climb out of the valley.

It took quite a bit longer to get through the next 9 miles, and I sweat more on the climb than I have since the desert. And it's worse now because it's more humid so the sweat doesn't evaporate as quickly. In addition to the heat, we were dodging poison oak along the sides of the trail whole way up the climb.

Once up the climb we just had little rolling hills of a few hundred feet up and down to finish off the remaining miles. My feet were definitely ready to be done when we found a place to camp. Tomorrow we only have 18 miles to get into Belden! Should be an easy day!

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