Mile: 1461.4 to 1483.1 (21.7)
up/down: 5800/6900 feet
These deep river canyons are wearing on us. We've been at them for a while now and are ready for something different. Today was the McCloud River and it was tough. The beautiful river *almost* made the climbing worth while. Unfortunately most of our downhill was in the cool morning and most of the up in the hot afternoon. We did have quite a bit of shade from the forest so that helped.
We left camp and descended Deer Creek then Butcherknife Canyons through a magnificent old growth Doug Fir forest. We walked the trail which at time was 100 feet above the canyon bottom and the tallest trees were still towering over our heads. It was beautiful.
At the bottom was a lovely river with a number of fishermen out trying for trout. If we had the time it looked good for a swim. But we have a date with friends on Sunday afternoon and needed 30 more miles and two monster climbs to get there.
The climb out was punishing at times with the heat and humidity, and throw in the 8 mile water haul and you have a tough afternoon. We made the crest then dropped past a couple of nice streams. Squaw Valley was particularly nice and would have been perfect for our camp if there were any flat spots. No luck so we loaded up a few liters each and headed for a dry camp spot a mile further.
We are 15.5 miles from our pickup point with Jim and Debby, with lots of up and down, and should make it by early afternoon. Can't wait!