By the time I had got up this morning, Sprout had already packed up and was about to hit the trail. I followed suit by packing up, and hitting the trail at about 6 am. Most of the morning was spent hiking down to the Feather River near Belden, California. There seemed like an endless amount of switchbacks that slowly brought you down in elevation. I made it to the bottom just before noon. Belden is a little resort, and the trail follows the road straight through the middle of town.
From Belden, you have to walk across a one lane bridge over the Feather River and along the on the side of a highway for a few hundred feet. If the highway was not under construction, I believe there was a sidewalk, but now you have to edge down the side of the road. Thankfully the cars were only going about 20 miles an hour. Once I got to the trailhead, I stopped for lunch at an old stamp mill. It was pretty cool and a great spot for a lunch break.
The afternoon was spent hiking uphill. It was another hot day and the first 5 miles after lunch were exposed. But after the first 5, the trail began following a stream and was in the shade - still warm but not quite so hot.
About a mile before I stopped for the day, I met a group of three hikers that were having dinner. We talked for a bit and they told me about a northbound hiker named Sobo. Sobo is short for South Bound. Apparently she got her trail name for how often she gets turned around and goes the wrong way down the trail. In her first week on the trail, even though she was supposed to be going north, she had apparently hiked 10 miles south.
On the trail people use Nobo and Sobo to denote the direction they are going, but so far there have not been very many Sobos. So it is safe to assume that other thru hikers are going north. The only exception to this rule are those that flipped around the Sierras and went south from Oregon.