Today was a short day -- only 31 miles! -- so I let myself sleep in. At 6:00am, I was starting the annoying 6,000-foot climb, as seems to be common in NorCal. At the top, we had a great view of the valley and got to talking. Haymaker informed me that there's a town, Bucks Lake, just a few miles off-trail where we can get a burger and a beer. Since I had time to kill, I fully supported this idea.
After that, we hiked up to the edge of the ridge just outside of the next town, Belden. Here, we were greeted with an amazing sunset.
Oh yeah, and after the burger, I ran into some day hikers who wished me the best and gave me a plum to speed me on my way. Fresh produce is always amazing.