July 23rd
Sierra City/Hwy 49(1196.7)-Near Jeep Rd N of “A” Tree Spring(1220.8)
Today’s Mileage: 24.1mi

After a not so smooth week last week, I was ready to start off with a clean slate today. Fortunately, things are improving and today was a nice day of hiking solo.

I got a later start than I wanted at 8am, but I was happy to still get in the mileage I was aiming for. The day started with a gradual climb of 2600ft over 5mi toward the Sierra Buttes. It had nice long wooded switchbacks that I loved!

It was more rocky and exposed as I went up, and there were nice views.

Since it was Saturday, there were a lot of day hikers out and I saw many people during the first half of the day. That was nice knowing I’ll probably be solo for the four days until I hit Belden. The bulk of the hikers left Sierra City yesterday and no other thru hikers came into town who would have left this morning like me. A few hours into the day, I came across a PCTA trail crew doing work on the trail with a group of high schoolers. I had lunch where they were gathered and it was fun for them to interact with a thru hiker and I answered questions. Thanks for volunteering! All the hikers greatly appreciate the work you do!

The second half of the day was not as enjoyable with more snow that was time consuming and tiring to navigate. I’ve heard this is the last extended snow section and I hope that’s true. This is what I saw most of the second half of the day. Anyone see a trail?

At the end of the day, I decided to grab water at a spring and hike a bit further before camping(aka dry camping). I walked until I hit more snow and set up my tent right on the trail since there were no other level spots and it was after 7pm. That’s another advantage of hiking solo that I like. I can keep hiking and only need to find a spot big enough for one tent.

I’m still really liking the independence of hiking solo for awhile. With all the navigation today, I felt a lot of pride doing it on my own. It’s more taxing to do it alone, but it’s good to know I can. I was pretty annoyed with the snow, but when I got out of it, I was quickly rewarded with a whole field of wildflowers and that was great!

The new ankle brace definitely helped with the stability on the rocks and snow today. Hoping for less snow and higher mileage tomorrow!

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