Long descent into Belden. Ten million switchbacks and ten million gnats. The worst kind. They hover all around my face and occasionally make suicide runs at an orifice. They swerve up a nostril on an inhale. Right between the eyelids on a blink. And if I dare part my lips, every gnat wants to immediately get in my mouth.
My knees started to ache from the downhill pound. When the canyon came into view, I could see the climb out on the other side of the river. It was just as high and just as steep as the one I was coming down.
All my motivation went out the window. I wasn’t going to start that uphill today. I could start that shit in the morning.
At Belden I ate a cheeseburger and fries, which was huge and awesome. I briefly considered getting a room at the resort. When they said the WiFi was down, I decided against it. But I did pay for laundry and a shower. Even though I’d showered yesterday st Kelly’s, I was already filthy. The laundry was in an old bunkhouse full of junk. The kind of old abandoned wooden farm building that my sister and I used to love exploring when we were kids. Back in the dangerous unsupervised 80s.
Belden hosts music festivals during the summer with thousands of tripping ravers at a time. It’s so quiet now, it’s hard to imagine. The Guthooks comments are full of hiker trash complaining about stinky hippies. (Pot, meet Kettle, right?) I guess they all camp out on the beach by the river. It seems like they do an okay job cleaning up. The riverside isn’t spotless but it’s pretty tidy for having hosted multiple festies all summer.