Total Miles: 1304.8
The sad truth about resupply stops in town is that nothing comes for free. Sure, there's the whole looking forward to showering, doing laundry, eating, and sleeping in a bed thing, and getting there inevitably involves several thousand feet of descent from the height of the mountains. But leaving town means just the opposite: climbing all the way back up to the mountain tops, all the while quickly beginning to resemble Pig Pen from The Peanuts yet again, and with a full load of food to boot. It's the penance for all the luxuries of town. Today, that penance was a 15-mile climb out of Belden back up through thickets of poison oak.
The driving motivation of the day was hitting the 1300-mile mark, knowing that it meant the halfway point was a mere day away. Looking ahead, the resupply stops seem to be coming fast and furious now, and only five more separate us from crossing into Oregon.
There's been a peacefulness to the forests that the trail has been winding through lately. Here and there, the occasional meadow breaks open among the quiet timber and dazzles with an array of ever more vibrant wildflowers or simply a tranquil expanse of grass. Without knowing exactly when or where, we've traded high mountains of drama for forests of Zen.