Day 59: Priceless 

Today we had 18.5 miles to hike to Belden, a tiny town right on the trail where we planned to stop and enjoy the local bar/restaurant and head out for another mile or so in the evening. We did a lot of climbing this morning before a long descent to the town and river. We arrived before 2 pm and discovered there is a festival in town. It’s not really a music festival, but there is some music. There are art installations all over, but it’s not really an art festival either. There are nearly naked people everywhere, walking around, talking to the hikers and offering acid and beer. Surprisingly there are also a lot of babies and young children. We sat on the porch of the restaurant, people watching and drinking beer, talking to random festival goers. Tonight is a bird themed party, so everyone is dressed in bird costumes. We’ve determined that this crowd is mostly tech-industry folks from the bay area, and this town is mostly owned by one person and there is a festival or a rave here about every 2 weeks. We set up camp across the river, away from all the clean hippies in hopes of a night of sleep in spite of all the noise.