Mileage 25.6 (41.2km)
Ridgetop camp (1575) to Paynes Lake (1600.6)
Jangle, jangle jangle went the cowbells attached to the nearby bovines. The sounds lasted all night. Line upon line of granite spires and mountains stretched as far as the rising sun. Time to wake. I was one of the first out of my tent in the morning, as usual. I was slow to get moving. Partly because of the great view, partly because of the cold. I was captivated by the distant mountains and stopped at every opportunity to photograph them. I love the far horizons. The photos don’t do justice to the reality of the place, as has been the case for the whole journey to date.
Again the trail followed mostly ridgelines with extensive views of the Trinity Wilderness area. To date this has been one of my most favourite places. A check of the map revealed that we are only really skirting the edges of the place. There must be some great hikes in this park. I spent most of the day hiking with Teflon. Another hiker called Ladies Man appeared. I hadn’t seen him since the early parts of the desert, maybe 12 weeks ago! Most of the people I hiked with in the very early parts of the desert are ahead of me. Often I wonder how they are and would love to hear about their experiences on the trail. I’m unlikely to see them again, unfortunately. This trail is like that.
The late afternoon section of the hike was scarred by large sections of burnt forest. I suspect it was a recent burn. Only very small sections of forest are starting to regrow. The end of the burnt section of trail led to Paynes Lake, our camp for the night.