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Food / Lakes and cheeseburgers along the PCT

Lakes and cheeseburgers in Oregon
Lakes and cheeseburgers - California

Dur­ing my hike on the PCT in 2001, my two favorite pas­times were swim­ming and eat­ing. When I was walk­ing — which was most of the time — cool swim­ming holes and siz­zling cheese­burg­ers filled my day­dreams. When my hik­ing part­ner, Nick, and I talked, it was more often than not about swim­ming and eat­ing cheese­burg­ers: How far to the next riv­er, creek or lake? How long would it take to hitch out to get a cheese­burg­er at the next road crossing?As the two attached lists indi­cate, we found lots of chances to fol­low these par­tic­u­lar­ly bliss­ful pas­times. Cheese­burg­er-wise, the best were found in the Cheese­burg­er Belt, which begins as the Sier­ras give way to the Cas­cades in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia, and ends a lit­tle north of Ash­land, Ore­gon. The best of the best in the belt were found at Buck's Lake Lodge near Quin­cy, the Pines Frosty in Chester (which also has kick-ass shakes), and Lake of the Woods Resort north of Ash­land. At the bot­tom of the list was Belden Town, which shouldn't real­ly be sur­pris­ing since they don't seem to like hik­ers too much anyway.The best of the swim­ming was between in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia, between Sier­ra City and Etna. The Mid­dle Fork of the Feath­er (pic­tured below) was spec­tac­u­lar, though Nick pre­ferred Squaw Val­ley Creek, which he found a lit­tle cozi­er.

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