Mile 342.2 - 369.6 (27.4 miles)
I did not want to get up this morning. I had a cat curled up next to me and zero desire to disturb him. A perfect start to my morning. Both cats stayed the night and were more fun than the old tv, catapulting around chasing shadows and string.
I did finally get up, stumble around eating breakfast and pretending to be productive and pack. It was in the 30's last night and morning didn't feel much warmer. It was a treat to sleep indoors. Rest Stop left before I had any intention of braving the cold but Funsize and I did wander off when it got a little warmer.
It was a good night and I was feeling great. I'll admit I fiddled with my pack and shoes letting Funsize get ahead. I have a bad habit of matching paces with folks I hike with and then hurting myself. Besides I was feeling good and wanted to do my own thing. A few thousand feet with the ever present rolling hills thrown in over 13 miles. I was loving it.
Creek side walking to begin and then nice graded trail. There were pockets of people, mostly at the first shelter but then it was just me. A great morning catching glimpses of sunlight and mountains through the trees but it did stay chilly. It's the first time I've worn an extra layer while hiking in the sun on this trip.
Surprisingly open trail gave the area a different feel hiking up the last bit, reminded me of California and the PCT.
At the Beauty Spot the three of us manage to all catch up to each other while chatting with some day hikers. We are all sticking to similar mileages and paces so it's endless leapfrog for now.
I'm feeling panicky that I'm somehow hiking in a group, I have had a lot of trouble leaving groups and being happy in them in the past and it puts me on edge. I end up stalling at the next water source, my teeth chattering with cold before I start up the last long climb alone.
Old spruce forest, what a treat.
The rest of the day goes better. It's even warm enough to take off my jacket occasionally. The trail is an old fire road through sections and it's easy walking.
The views where I camp are great and I'm all tucked in, it's really cold and I know the trail goes even higher tomorrow. I'm thinking I'll need to be extra bundled up in the morning.
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