DATE: June 16
START: About 1.5 miles shy of Lookout Rock
FINISH: The Braaten’s at Little Haven
DISTANCE: 31.5 miles
TOTAL DISTANCE: 1289.5 miles
Soon after Buck’s Summit I met Christie (trail name ‘Rockin’), a 55 going on 25 year old hiker, whom in addition to apparently having discovered the Fountain of Youth, is a teacher, climber and grandma extraordinaire from Tehachapi, CA. We hiked and chatted together for the next few hours, before parting ways just before the final switch-backing descent into the tiny town of Belden.
Belden reminds me a little of Churchills famous quote regarding the former Soviet union: “… a puzzle inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma.” One moment I was navigating my way through an endless sea of acid-dropping hippies congregated together for the year’s biggest rave; the next I found myself at the excellent Caribou Crossroads restaurant devouring burgers and milkshakes with a group of moustachioed bikers and; finally, I spent an enjoyable hour or so on Laurie and Brenda Braaten’s verandah, chatting about first century scripture and the in’s and out’s of hiker nutrition.