Beardoh slept really good last night, which was good for him since he hadn’t been sleeping well lately. Sweetpea had a pretty restless night’s sleep trying to get the right temperature going…either too hot or too cold.
We got a pretty early start out of the hammocks and after a slowish pack up made it out of camp around 7:00. Not surprised about the slow start, as it was our first morning on the trail. The morning started with some easy terrain at lower elevations and had plenty of water. We walked through a beautiful meadow with wild flowers. We crossed a main road and started (what felt like) an uphill which lasted almost the rest of the day. There wasn’t as much water, but we seemed to get enough when needed.
We saw a few backpackers out today, but saw a lot more mountain bikers (they seemed the friendliest of the bunch) and we talked with several of them. It must be a popular section for mountain biking. Not easy riding, and we saw plenty hike-a-bike situations. We think we went to the highest point on the trail today (right at the junction for the trail that goes to the summit of Freel Mountain).
Our campsite was just a few miles past that junction and we were happy to arrive! Sweetpea felt like she had super low energy today and Beardoh had some knee swelling so we didn’t take it too hard, and took several breaks in the shade.
A beautiful day with lots of great views and good walking. After 10am, we didn’t even see a cloud. We’re camping around 9,000 feet tonight on a nice pond called Star Lake…and best of all – no mosquitos. Star Lake is a beautiful spot with high cliffs on one side of the lake where the nearly full moon is floating above. Beardoh waded in the water a bit and shaved his head and we both did laundry. The water is not to cool for being over 9000′.
We are camped with Rob, a local from Kings Beach, a town we will pass in a few days. He is hiking the trail clockwise and it is his first time backpacking the loop. We looked at the map this evening and planned out our next stretch. There are going to be some long miles as there are long waterless stretches and some camping restrictions coming up. Hopefully, Sweetpea will feel refreshed and strong after a good night’s sleep.
Daily Miles: 17.4 miles
Total Miles: 29.9 miles