I woke up usual time on my lofty saddle. I had been able to see lights in the valley below. My goal was to hike a little more than 1/2 the remaining 45 miles of Section Q.
The views right away were gorgeous. I could see the big Marble Mountain far off. I knew I'd get closer because I had seen it in pictures of the PCT. I got closer quicker than I thought I would. The white marble gleamed in the sun.
Along the way I climbed steeply to a crest, through an actively burning forest fire, and found myself above Man Eaten Lake. It was an inky blue color and reflected the mountains above it. I love it when they come up with good names for lakes.
I passed lots of other small lakes, too, some leaping with fish. I attempted to take a moview of the fish.
The trail seemed to plunge down to see a creek, cabin or lake, then plunge back up to take in the views. It was exhausting. By 4pm I didn't think I had done my 20 miles yet.
I stopped at a tiny spring, the first water I had seen in a long time. I had been looking for a spring with a pond near it but had not found it. I decided to take water from this spring and sat there a little while drinking muscle milk with tangerine Emergence-C and eating peanut butter with a spoon.
The muscle milk seemed to perk me up a bit. At least my feet didn't hurt quite so much as I descended. I had begun the long descent to 1300 foot Seiad Valley.
I arrived at a dirt road and stopped to cook dinner. I packed my dinner for later, thinking maybe I'd stop at the 3rd dirt road. At the 3rd one, I should have stopped because the descent began in earnest. There was nowhere to camp for 2 more miles.
I finally reached a creek. I could hear it was joining another, larger creek. I figured there would be camping at the larger creek for sure. The forest was lush and dense. It was warming up. Madrones were growing here.
Sure enough, I found a nice little campsite for the night at the end of an old, abandoned road. I only had 14 more miles to go to get to Seiad Valley. I had ended up hiking 31 miles today.
It had been cold today and I got hungry a lot.