Destination: The Williams' Honker Pass
Cumulative Miles: 1096
We had been told by a section hiker (Dennis) that his family was offering up trail magic by Bucks Lake, so when we left Belden, we planned on taking advantage of a generous offer to spend the 4th of July with the Williams family.
We set no alarm this morning, and instead just woke when our bodies let us. We heated water in the morning for hot coffee and hot oatmeal, which is rarely done. We then made a short 4.5 mile hike down to Buck's Lake Road, where we met Nancy Williams. She took our packs and agreed to meet us two hours and 4.5 miles later at Big Creek Road.
Sadly, on the walk down, we met a day hiker with two dogs. One of the dogs jumped up on Apricots, tearing the earpiece to our newly acquired mp3 player out of her ear. The dog succeeded at maiming our earphones, so that we now have only one functioning headphone. Despite Apricots' refusal of money, the woman insisted she take some to replace the headphones, so we will replace the headphones whenever we get to a town that supplies them.
We then made the short slackpack between the two roads, facing no snow and only about thirty blowdowns. Along the way we met our first full blown northbound thru-hikers who had made the full trek through the Sierras. By our calculation, this puts the five of them about nine days ahead of us mileage wise. We shared trail conditions and listened to their horror stories of neck deep stream fords, and trail blazing through pristine snow.
Upon arriving at Big Creek Road, Nancy was waiting for us to take us down to her cabin (Honker Pass). Once there, we did our usual town routine of showering and laundry. Then the relaxation began. They showered us with food galore, as it was their 4th of July celebration. We enjoyed burgers for lunch, then took a nap, and woke shortly before a fantastic feast of a dinner was served.
We plowed through large salads, pasta, rice, and steak before indulging on multiple servings of delicious dessert. We talked with all the family that was up for the holiday, while the multitudes of children ran about playing ping-pong, hammock swing, and musical instruments. Briefly Nancy played some pseudo-patriotic music for us on her accordion.
As the sun set between the trees, smoke lingered in the air from all the campfires built by neighbors up for the holiday weekend. At nine miles, and a very restful day, we just might have gotten the rest we so need to continue on. Our schedule is still very tight though, and we need to keep moving, long and fast.
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