6/28/18 – 20 Miler

Day 8

Miles: 1,313.29 to 1,293.00

+ 0.4 miles to/from High Point

We’re up at 4:30 a.m., it’s still dark outside, the moon shines brightly. We pack and eat breakfast watching the daylight opening the curtain to the new day.

Hiking seems easy, smooth ups, gentle downs. Parts of the trail is rocky and my right foot immediately takes a notice but soon enough we are back on the softer forest floor.

The forest is lined by lupine. Yellow, and later the purple variety. It smells heavenly.

We manage to hike 10 miles before 10 a.m. and take a break at Cold Springs, one of the best flowing ones around.

After that we have a climb coming, last one for a while. It’s about 1,000 vertical feet, views around us. 200 feet from the top we sit down for a short break by a spring with Packratt, guy we met earlier today.

Atop the climb is a plateau with lupin and lava rock, several taller trees. I want to take a photo and guess what. My camera tells me memory is full. I know I had 403 photos left in the morning and there is no way I took that many. I check the card. There is about 380 black frames in the card as somehow the camera managed to turn on when I was walking and happily snap all the frames. I spend 10 minutes deleting them. Then I take the shot.

The downhill start innocently enough in a trail lined with pine needles. Soon, however; we are on a rocky steep path with little traction. This path is crossed by numerous creeks we have to rock hop. My energy is draining fast on this terrain and I’m quite happy to arrive at Chip Creek where Swayed already set up camp. Only 9 miles to Belden tomorrow. Hopefully it’s not too busy. A music festival should be taking place there over the weekend. As long as we find a piece of land to pitch tent, that should be a fun event to watch.

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