Today was another decently long day of 27 miles. We started off going past a couple of pretty lakes, then climbed some steep passes. The trail is not graded the same way as the PCT, so there are some steep climbs and drops.
Along this section the trail also fades to a faint path that looks as if it doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, maybe because it is so challenging. Every time we dropped below treeline there were always a lot of downfalls because of the huge number of dead trees as a result of the bark beetle infestation. The forest looks more like a collection of matchsticks than a typical healthy green forest, and that also creates lots of obstacles as the dead trees fall down.
When I got to camp around 8pm, it was by a couple of shallow oversized ponds, where it was hard to extract water because of being so shallow. I was hopping on rocks to get as far out as possible to where it was deep enough to actually fill the buckets with water for the horses. But there was lots of grass so the horses were happy grazing as I was out there struggling on their behalf! Highlining was a challenge again due to lack of trees, so space was a little cramped, but the horses are good together and made do with a more confined area.