I was feeling very lazy this morning and laid in bed reading for a while. I didn’t make it out of camp until 8:30 to start the climb up to McCrae Ridge. Once down from the ridge again, I had my first stop for early lunch at West Branch Beartrap Creek.
There was another beautiful ridge walk in the afternoon and I took a long break up there, enjoying the views until I started hearing thunder and felt a few raindrops. I got moving again and never actually got stormed on.
At the next road, I found trail magic left by Beeline. I enjoyed a soda there and took a pudding with me to go.
The next few water sources were off trail. Alder Spring was 800 feet off, but the side trail was surprisingly not steep, and the spring was so cold and delicious. I also went off trail 500 feet to Fowler Creek at the end of the day.
I had hoped to find camping near Fowler because the contour lines on the map looked fairly wide, and it was near a dirt road, usually an indication of some flat-ish area, but the trail was in the middle of a steep slope and I had to keep going. I found some other hikers camping up the hill a little while later and they said there was maybe one more tent site there. I climbed up and cooked dinner, but had to eat in my tent due to the mosquitoes. 26.8 miles today.
Mosquitoes are probably the biggest buzzkill.