I got myself all packed up and left my dorm room at 8:15, thinking it could take a while to get a ride. The traffic was scarce at the hour and I was wondering if I should have just started walking when Sunshine and her cousin Bunny drove by on their way to drop Sunshine at the trailhead. Not 5 minutes later Bunny drove back to where I was standing and picked me up to take me to the PO. On the way we saw another hiker trekking to Soda Springs and we offered her a ride. So we got there and had coffee while we waited the 15 minutes for the office to open.
My bear canister and water treatment packages were there and I picked up a few last minute goodies, then Bunny took us back to the trailhead. The other hiker was heading north so we said our goodbyes all around and I strapped my canister onto my pack. It looks silly but it works fine.
The first seven miles of the day were basically climbing, though mercifully not all at once. At first I was doing the granite big step...
Then the trail wound in and around trees, who show the effects of heavy snow loads at their bases.
Remember when I said I was done with volcanic landscaped? Wrong! There were a great deal of dramatic outcroppings, peaks and knobs today.
The trail wound around to the right, and below that snow field up ahead. It looks more exposed than it was but when I got to the other side, things got real 'open.'
If you look closely you can see the trail traversing from left to right and it was quite exposed. I would not want to be doing this in foul weather. Yikes! The trail came around and started climbing to the base of Tinkers Knob.
The wind was whipping and I had to work to stay upright as my canister was acting a bit like a sail. Just up ahead on the left you can see the steep drop off. It creeped me out and had to force myself not to look over the edge, especially with the wind coming from right to left😱
The trail winds right up to the base of Tinkers Knob at 8,683'. A few days ago a man was hit by lightening on top of that knob. He survived but not with out severe burns. It blew all of his clothes off in the process. This is one of the reasons I don't spend much time bagging peaks.
Once I passed this spot the trail began a long descent to the right of the ridges I hiked on all day. Fortunately for me because there had been no water and few trees for most of the day.
There it goes! Off to the right and down to water and trees. About a mile further on I stopped at a small creek to grab a couple of liters for over night and met a couple of folks who are hiking north. They've decided to stop hiking for the season as they've stopped having fun. Coach lives in Eugene, OR and (I've forgotten her name😬) lives in Australia.
Just a hop, skip and a jump farther on I came to this spot and decided to call it a day.
I was laying in my hammock writing this blog post when I looked out and saw this sunset view. Pretty fabulous I'd say.