Mile: 1563.5 to 1583.6 (20.1)
up/down: 4400/3450 feet
We were distracted a lot today. There were great views, interesting geology, cool trees, and of course birds.
Leaving camp we continued to ascend to a ridge line that would complete our time in the Scott Mountains and connect us to the Salmon Mountains. The climb was through some of the best hiking we've had in weeks - sub alpine with fantastic geology. We even found foxtail pine, it's been a long while since we've seen them. While we won't quite reach them we got excellent views of the snow covered Trinity Alps and have vowed to return for a visit.
Another afternoon with a long drop to a highway followed by an even longer climb. On the ascent we were waylaid by a nice flock of mixed birds in a feeding frenzy for insects. There were Hermit and Nashville Warblers, red-breasted nuthatches, Cassin's Vireos, Brown Creepers, and others. It was quite a show. The ridge we climbed was interesting and took us past a spring for evening water and another mile to dry camping. At least we're on a ridge with a view of Mt. Shasta in the distance. In four days we made no northward progress!
I want to give a shout out to the trail maintenance today in the Klamath National Forest. Whether it's the forest service itself or an unidentified volunteer group, this was the nicest section of trail we've seen all summer. There are some Forest Service districts farther south that could take a lesson.