Today was a great day. Woke up at 5:00 am to be ready to hit the trail by 7:30. It took some time to organize my new pack. I can be very nit picky on where I place items. I do my best to make it so all the things I want while hiking, is accessible without taking my pack off (phone, headphones, music, sunscreen etc.).
The group gathered in the parking lot before hitting the trail (mainly because that was the only place with sun at this hour). There are very few times when the group walks together, ever. This was one and it was fun. Soon people stopped to re-tie their shoes, adjust their pack, or go pee. With resulted in everyone hiking separately per usual.
I stopped around mile 6 to dry out my rain fly, which had ice on it this morning. There Lefty caught up and we hiked for a short while together.
The next area was burned badly many years ago. The trail wasn't cleared of all of fallen down trees, which made it challenging to get into a rhythm.
Shortly after the burn, the trail opened up to a valley that I couldn't help to stare at with my jaw dropped. This was my kind of terrain.
The past week... The past month and a half of hiking in the high desert has helped me to appreciate that moment so much more. I took a ton of pictures also.
The trail crosses paths with the _______ River. Here I relaxed and soaked my feet for a couple hours. Through that time I saw the entire group.
The last 3 ish miles were uphill to a campsite and water source. With my new pack, I put my tent on the outside, which makes setting up camp so much easier. With my other backpack I would have to unpack a bunch of gear to get access to my tent. No more!
Ate dinner and relaxed around a campfire. Two new hikers have joined up with the group. Lefty and Natalie (Zinger). Lefty drew a sketch of a few of us (from left to right: BT, Leah and Me) around the campfire. It's really good.
Also, whether you wanted to see it or not, here is my view from today's Nature Break.