Clear Creek Campsite - Braatens, Belden
This morning Jake and I got up early and booked it to Belden. It's always exciting to get to town (even if its only a single building, which Belden evidently is) AND we were stoked to get your package!
On our way down, we spotted plumes of smoke rising from the opposite slope, beyond town, and where the PCT takes on the next hill. Then we heard the helicopters. A fire, started near or on the PCT, had set flame to over 20 acres of wood, and was still growing (a day later it was up to 300+ acres, and as I write you this it's 5000+). But that's another story!
We made it into Belden and retreated to the Braatens to collect our bearings and YOUR BOX! The Braatens are Trail Angels, and some of the best. They own a split house (half for hikers, half for them) just a mile outside of town. They'll pick you up, let you shower, give you fresh veggies from their garden, let you borrow their hip 70s clothes while you wash yours and much more. We had access to a kitchen stocked with food, and beds! It was like having a home again. Sometimes it's just nice to have a place to put your stuff, even if it's only a backpack full of gear that only makes sense to you.
They gave us our box from you and we tore it open anxiously! You sent us OUR first postcard on the trail! Thank you! Local PA food too! Did someone tell you how perfect that would be? The Popcorn Budda was divine--so good. I wish I could buy stock in the company. Jake waited a LONG half day to devour his jelly beans. Nearly too good to resist!
For the day, we rested, ate well, hung out with our friends (Gut Feeling, Caveman Express, HeeHaw, Swiss Army, and Lunch Box) and looked lovingly at the items you sent us. The trail may throw fire in our path, but we've for good friends like you and the strength to make it!
Hugs and Trail Mix, Karrie (Dipper)