Mile: 1650.7 - 1676.2 (25.5 miles)
No sleeping late today, our hostel host takes hikers back to the trail and I need to be ready by 7:30. That's late for me and not usually a problem but breakfast supplies are available. I haven't made pancakes in years but they were 100% worth the earlier wake up.
A few of us are headed back to the trail but we all got off at different points so I still manage to start alone. The first climb is steady and quiet and a great start to the day. Bromley Mountain has a great emergency shelter that hikers can stay in and since its part of a ski resort the trail passes a lift and fun signs before heading straight back down.
Back up this time to the more wooded summit of Styles Peak. And then you guessed it, right back down. Then it's mostly mellow elevation changes all day. The whole day turns out to be pretty rocky and root filled but overall really not bad hiking and I'm feeling good.
This was a very busy squirrel who was stuffing his mouth like a hamster.
I stop a short way off trail at a nice little shelter to grab water and it starts to rain. I wait out the rain, although rain is an overstatement it's really just drizzle. But I'm sleepy and laying down on flat wood listening to rain patter is lovely.
The rest of the afternoon stays gray with a nice cool breeze. There are small sections walking along rushing water which is always a great sound. I'm extra glad it's a Monday when I get to the Rock Lake trailhead, there's only 1 car in the parking lot which is lucky because apparently this area can be a zoo.
Large mystery rock gardens amidst the pine.
The very end of the day turns into beautiful pine forest and while not quick going with all the rocky trail it's extra beautiful. I head down to camp by a gorgeous creek and get to fall asleep to the sound of rushing water, my favorite.