Today was the first fresh berries! I was able to graze on thimbleberries (think red raspberry) on the way into Belden. I can definitely see my mileage suffering in coming days if these are plentiful.
The trail meandered along a 6000’+ ridge for several miles & then made a mad plunge down impressive switchbacks to 2300’ & the town of Belden. With a booming metropolis of about 12 permanent residents & a total of maybe 300 if you count the RV dwellers, Belden definitely has character. We ate lunch at the saloon on the porch overlooking the river. Afterwards the 3 section hikers, Jewel Thief & I, all went for a swim since AC seems to be too modern for this place.
We all stayed the night with the Brataens of Little Haven. They summer here & host hikers in their home. Tomorrow we’ll hit the Post Office & start tackling Northern California.