As with yesterday, there was a noticeable increase in crowds out on the trail. The PCT crossed countless dirt and paved roads with mountain bikes, ATV's and 4x4's using them all. There were even a few that came out of the woods in search of a trail. Happy to see me, they were always surprised this was the PCT and how easy it was to lose track of the trail by going Off-Trail hiking even a short distance into the woods.
Today I was feeling fairly good mentally and my blister was healing up without any complications. Wanting to push longer days because I was now on my own and wanted to see what I could do, I worked out a strategy half way through the day to make it to camp next to the Feather River, an additional 15 miles.
I would hike 5 miles then stop for 15 minutes then repeat. I was very strict with myself. I would absolutely not stop before 5 miles and at 15 minutes into my break I had to stand up and quickly pack things up. This would guarantee making the miles throughout the day, and it would make sure I actually took long enough breaks for my legs to recharge.
Sticking to it, the last 5 mile leg of the day was a brutal down hill that made my legs scream at me! I would have actually taken a break had it not been for the dense Poison Oak, a first since the Desert Section, that filled the hill side.
By the time I arrived at the Feather River, the sun had set for the valley. However it was still very warm and my skin had a tackiness that I wanted to wash off. Into the river I went and it was incredibly refreshing. I do believe this is the first river I've jumped into since Evolution Creek on Day 57.
I setup my camp with Vertigo and Strapless, a young couple I met during one of my 15 minute breaks today. Irish Matt was there as well and wished he'd gone in the river earlier after hearing I had.
After 25.8 miles of hiking, I was rushing to eat dinner before my eyelids closed for the night. Today I felt happy and strong, but my feet felt very sore.