We took it a bit easy this morning packing up and grabbed some last minute resupply items before heading down a gravel road. We walked the road up towards Sawtelle Mountain for what seemed like an eternity. Dusty air getting kicked up with each step left us feeling immediately dirty and disgusting. Finally, we made it back to a single track trail.
We followed the trail as it took us up and over small hills. The trail suddenly disappeared into faint trail of slightly trampled grass. This left us following our compass and beginning what our maps called a "trail-bushwhack transition". We stayed high overlooking a river valley as we passed through tall fields of wildflowers and different grasses. The "bushwhack" did not truly begin until we were nearing the official CDT. Our nice field turned into a brushy maze of tall moose willows and boggy paths. We stood at the edge of the last dry bit of grass over looking a deep marsh with no where to go but through it. Our feet dunked under and were quickly consumed by the silty bottom like stepping into quicksand.
We stumbled across finding stability on the top of a beaver dam which we followed to dry land on the other side. The trail met back up with the official trail and continued steadily climbing as a rain began to fell. Due to the rain, we kept putting off filtering water, but our sources listed on our maps were dry as a bone when we came up on them. However, to our relief, we found flowing spring water at an unmarked source. We filtered enough water to drink and cook with and then continued down the trail. A couple of miles later we found a flat camp spot tucked into some trees for a windbreak and set up camp.
The night was cold and windy. A storm was blowing in, but we would worry about that in the morning. We closed our eyes and drifted to a warmer, drier place.
Garbelly & Critter