My eyes popped open at 3am and didn’t close again until at least 5. At 6:30, I couldn’t hide from the sun anymore, but I still took a while to get ready and pack and left camp around 8:30.
It was just a few miles down to Tank Seven Creek, which supposedly had good water. A mile in, I found a pretty crappy trickle of a water source that I contemplated filling up from just in case. Luckily, some sobos arrived and let me know that the next creek was, in fact, way better. I kept going and stopped there for water and a snack.
Today was a PUDdy (PUD = pointless ups and downs) ridge walk through the trees again, but I did have the occasional view this time. I took a long lunch and didn’t try to walk particularly fast, but otherwise didn’t dilly dally too much. I had a short snack and water break at another seasonal stream in the afternoon as my only other stop.
The trail was really eroded today, with huge ruts in places too. I hate to say it’s the dirt bikes, but it’s the dirt bikes. Nowhere else has the trail even looked sort of bad, let alone terrible. There was a split at the end of the day for motorized/nonmotorized traffic, but I’m on a dirt road again so I’m not sure when the dirt bike access will be.
I could see rain clouds over a nearby mountain as I got closer to Marshall Pass, where I was heading. I kept getting closer to them until eventually it started raining on me. It looked and smelled like it wouldn’t last long, and I was mostly in the trees anyway, so I didn’t bother getting my jacket out. Sure enough, it stopped after a few minutes.
I’ve only been rained on maybe a half hour in over two weeks of hiking so I’ve been very lucky. The forecast indicates that my luck is coming to an end though, with definite rain a few days later this week. I will be in town for at least one of those days though.
I was excited to get to the trailhead and camp with both water and a toilet. The vault toilet was a disappointment, dirty and out of TP. I continued a bit away from the parking lot to camp near the water. Unfortunately, there was no escaping the dead trees, but there are enough of them that I think they’d get caught up on each other if they fell.
I cooked dinner and tried to sit around outside but there were too many mosquitoes so I was in my tent by 7pm.
15 miles today and I’m camped at 10900′ after a high point of 11700′.