Northern California is know for it's excessive elevation changes. Hiking from some of the lowest points on the PCT, the trail will then climb up hills with high relief (amount of elevation change within a particular area), just to go back down and do it all over again.
I quite enjoyed the uphills, as one may assume, they provided better and better views the higher I went. They also didn't really hurt or bother my body. Where, in contrast, the downhills utterly destroyed my body. Everything from the tips of my toes, to my top of my neck felt the effects from going downhill.
Today I would be walking through an area of Northern California with many towns and fairly easy hitchhiking to access them. Because of this, the resupply points were not as standard as they have been previously along the trail. Quincy, Belden, Chester, Drakesbad Guest Ranch and more, were within a days hike of each other.
This morning, the trail consisted of a climb straight out of camp at the Feather River. It would be roughly 10 miles and had very few views due to the dense green, poison oak filled forest. At the top of the climb the trees opened up into vast expanses of bare rock and clear views of the rolling hills that reached to the horizon.
Around this point I stopped for lunch and I tell you it was one the top 10 favorite lunch spots I had on the trail. Though ridiculously hot with no shade to hide under, view was incredible and I was happy to soak up some sun after walking up an endless green tunnel. I just ate quickly so I didn't succumb to heat stroke or drink up all my water (for which I would need to hike 5 more miles to have access to).
Today was the 4th of July and I was not planning on being in town for it. Quincy would have been the only town I could have made it to, but I had a resupply waiting in Belden, where I would be tomorrow, which had a fresh new pair of shoes. My feet were desperately screaming for them. So I pushed to get to 20 miles for the day so that tomorrow (which will have an insanely steep and long downhill filled with more poison oak), I won't have more than 16 miles to make it to town. I hope to get there by lunch tomorrow and eat a big fat juicy burger while sipping on a milkshake, sitting in the shade during the mid-day heat!