Mile: 711.4 - 727.5 (16.1 miles)
Well it took me over 700 miles to try cowboy camping (no tent) on this trail and after that night I have no plans on trying it again. It was a long mostly sleepless night. The bugs were pretty bad but the heat and condensation were killer. I'm using a quilt this trail and it felt like I rolled right off my pad more times than I can count into damp sandy dirt. And despite the breeze I was the wettest I've been on the trail with water drops rolling off my gear. Ugh sandy everything. But the sunrise was fantastic.
Too many sunrise pictures because I couldn't resist. Sunrise was a treat but I was thirsty and ready to get to town. See that mountain in the photo above? Well that's where I was headed, the long way around with a nice ridge line walk along Tinker Cliffs at the end. Muggy with a slight breeze I was enjoying the mellow start to my day.
The two hikers just ahead of me on the cliffs walked right past this guy. Great two rattlesnakes in two days, I would be more than happy to break this pattern.
Looking back at McAfee.
The trail dips down past rocks into the shade but I'm exhausted and not really appreciating the easy miles. At Lambert Meadow a shelter closed because of bear activity I sit down for a few minutes and fall asleep for 45 minutes. Yup ready for town.
Hot and exposed spots with giant rocks the rest of the ridge line into town is pretty but full of open areas under power lines and it all feels longer than it should.
I finally get to head down and get to the highway I've been hearing for ages. The trail pops out right in town with a hotel to one side and a grocery store and outdoor gear store 0.3 miles to the other. It's no question I'm staying at the hotel. It's full of hikers and before I know it the day is almost over and I've killed the whole afternoon getting nothing done at all. My room smells like mold and I just don't care. It's nice to take a break this section has me tired.
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