Hot dog.

No condensation in my bivy last night.

The foot of my quilt has a little bit of ice on it, but it's not bad. The new 20" pad also made a big difference in that there were less cold spots to avoid.

Walking early in the morning, through this terrain, is quite pleasant. There's a strong wind, which, in combination with the beating sun, is nice, provided you have the correct wind protection.

Which I do.

It is tiring, though. My legs still have not adapted to constant climbing.

I switch to the rain jacket periodically as a wind protector, and just as often remove it when the wind dies down.

The sky is a perfect blue, and the clouds provide the perfect contrast. Every photo taken is perfect.

At one point, I completely lose the trail. I'm 100s of feet off, so I attempt to bushwhack across. It's successful, with no rock kicking, no injuries.

Today is just...pleasant.

It seems as if a defined trail has become the norm - a sharp contrast to the CDT thus far.

Maybe I'll make 30 miles today.

I come to a trailhead, and someone has left cached water. During this time of Covid, it's surprise.

Unfortunately, I only have a water filter, not chemical drops that also kill viruses.

Fortunately, however, one of the gallons is unopened.

That will work.

Looking at the map, I see that I'm about to climb a mountain - a 2000 foot ascent to Jack's peak.

Yep yep yep yep yep yep phooooooone.
Taj told me about this yesterday, but I wasn't quite sure when it was coming. I have yet to develop the habit of looking at elevation profiles when planning my days - awful for determining how many miles I can walk.

My 30 mile dreams are dashed.

No matter.

Upward.

Oh! There's a sign, as I cross a trail-head, that says this is bear country, and to take precautions.

Neat.

As I arrive at the top of the peak, there are some nice views, but they're mostly obstructed by other trees, so not much to see up here.

Altar to an unknown god
There are some remnants of some old houses. A settlement, maybe, from a time long past.

Descending, you would think, would be faster, but it's quite steep. Protecting my injured toe is paramount, so I take it easy.

Up this high, the desert has turned to a pine forest, and it's a stunning change from the trail thus far.

I'm reminded of my time on the Arizona Trail, and my heart is warmed with nostalgia.

Unfortunately, that continues in a negative way when the sunset nears and I come close to a truck-accessible road. It's never a good idea to camp close to truck accessible areas.

There are always goobs and broken beer bottles.
I pick up the pace, as I'm loosing daylight, but unfortunately the trail turns from pine forest, to cactus filled winding trail.

I've got 10 minutes until sunset. I can hear people screaming and off road vehicles in the distance, but I'm at least a mile and a half from the road, so it's fine.

Everything is on an incline, so I have to make my own level ground.

Find an appropriate tree. Dig out a trench, perfectly sized for the bivy.

It's getting dark, but I eat, brush my teeth, wash my face several hundred feet away from camp.

Because bears.

The wind slaloms above my cozy bivy.

And I have 3 bars of LTE coverage. Perfect.

Today was fantastic.




Miles 19.5
Total miles 125.4