Packed up & ready to roll, we ate pancakes, drank coffee, and said our farewells to Jukebox and Gourmet as their time on trail came to an end. It was sad to see them go. After some time we too headed out, stopping by a local yard sale to say good bye to Annie, a young girl who collects hiker names and quotes. After some chat at the drop off point it was time to climb, and the first ascent was brutal in the heat. We had views of the desert plain to come, but skirted up and down the hill range for the majority of the hiking day. Weird man made caves about 100 ft deep made good spots to take breaks, though far too dusty for extended stays.
After some time the trail jumped to the other side of the range where suddenly it became more lush. Conifer trees and manzanita forests dominated the flora, upon which were 100’s of butterflies. As the day drew on the prospect of a 20 mile day became more reasonable and, as a group, we aimed for Sawmill campground. With the sun dying down Bell Funk, Professor, and us all had dinner before pressing on for a 5 mile night hike to the CG. It was beautiful. We could tell the scenery was lovely, but the darkness helped with climbs and the clear sky was filled with stars. It was a long hike but we eventually made it to camp and were greeted by two drunk men offering beer and water. Perfect. 🙂