Once again, we started the day with very cold weather, but at least most of the trail was free of snow. However, looking ahead it was clear that we were riding into higher elevations where there was already an accumulation of white on the mountain peaks.
This was also a section that I had been warned about in 2014 due to some trail washouts that were said to be impassable for horses. I have since learned to take people's judgement about such things with a grain of salt, as many people underestimate what horses are able to cross, but in any case there had been a lot of work done to fix those washouts in the two years since then. I could see the work to mend the trail and was grateful for the effort, although I think that even if it hadn't been done, we could have easily made our way through even the biggest of the washouts. It simply requires being flexible and willing to look for a safe place to cross. However, it is nice for both hikers and riders that people are willing to give of their time and effort to try to make the trail as passable as possible for all of us.
As we continued to climb in elevations, we crossed more and more areas where there was snow, and I began to wonder about my planned camping spot for the night.
In the end, as some southbound hikers told me that "there's winter up ahead," I decided to stop a little early for the night, in hopes of finding a place below the snow line where Shyla might have a chance for something to graze on for dinner.