It probably comes as no surprise to you that I had a bunch of chores to do given that I rolled into “town” yesterday. They took a while. It was, however, nice to have kind of a reset as opposed to just having pushed on for what would probably be ten days.
I had slept quite badly as I had a lot of things to think about with the closure of the Northern Terminus. I looked a bit further into it and kind of resigned myself to the idea of walking to Canada on another trail. I have already put so much time and energy into this, compared to which this should be a minor problem. That gave me some renewed energy and lifted my mood when I finally got going a bit after eleven.
I was by far the last one to leave, so I was walking by myself most of the day. On the negative that meant that I felt a bit behind. On the plus side there were no shouting man behind me.
The first long stretch of the day was along the forest floor and kinda boring, but at least the trail was soft and it was relatively easy walking. It looked like the smoke was gradually diminishing but it then came back as the usual grey carpet in the distance. There were quite a few mosquitoes, but when they disappeared, they were unfortunately replaced by biting flies. Neither created any big problems, though, but they were a nuisance.
A bit later I saw a large animal in the bushes and for a brief moment thought that it was a small wild horse. It wasn’t. On closer inspection, it looked like a new kind of large deer with very dark brown fur except for their bottoms, tail, and the inside of their ears, which were a very light shade of brown. I saw a similar one slightly later. Rethinking the episode, remembering I passed Elk Pass some days ago, and a Google search revealed them to be two female elks.
Late in the afternoon, the trail started ascending and the ripe and sweet blueberries returned, which was quite nice. The trail also went by grassy fields where narrow and tall pines of various sizes dotted the landscape. The smoke couldn’t hide that we were in fact hiking in some splendid landscapes.
Eventually, the hillside got steeper, wind picked up, and light was fading. I had not made it to a camp and I was somewhat apprehensive about the situation not knowing how good and shaded site I would find. Unexpectedly, the next one I came by was very much out of the wind and flat. Two section hikers were camped there, so I asked if ot was okay that I camped nearby. It was and I did. I had become surprisingly tired and fell asleep quickly. Outside our tent site, the winds were gusting harder and harder.
This days miles: 2295-2315