Along the way we swung by McCall horse park and came across three folks at a picinic table who are doing the same kind of thing, only going the standard direction. It was Halfmile (of the Halfmile's Maps fame), his wife Deb and another hiker named All Day Long. We exchanged info about the trail in each direction and parted ways.
Nineteen miles is a long way, especially when half of it is on roads. We had hoped to be at Paradise Crossroads by 5pm but when Stacey pulled up by me (being the last in line) we were still not quite there...I'd say less than a mile remained but I was happy to park my sorry self in her vehicle. Dang it was good to be off my feet. The good news? We managed to link together something that will make the ban of walking through the burn area more tolerable. Boots on the ground!