Salmon Creek Camp (1.1 on alternate) to Deer Ridge Trail Camp (24.0 on Alternate)
When I woke up this morning I didn’t want to leave. As always I wanted just to turn around and sleep in. But I know that I had more than 20 miles ahead of me if I wanted to get to Deer Ridge Trailhead. I packed up my stuff, picked up some apples for the nearby horses and made my way along the grassy forest road. I met Alice and her little dog Daisy by the horses and so I got a chance to say goodbye.
I passed several gates until I actually stood on a meadow with other horses and mules. It was hard to find the small trail – an overgrown old forest road – that led from here into the forest but I found it! I crawled under the electric fence and entered the forest.
Leaves in my face told me that I was back on the PNT! I hiked through a dense green of stinging nettles and had thorny slings around my legs for the next mile or so. Then I took a right on a more established forest road.
The rest of today should be a collection of forest roads. I worked my way up from an overgrown path in the forest towards paved Palo Alto Road and then back again until I finally hit the trailhead of Deer Ridge Trail where I camp tonight. The hike was not too bad, not much climbing, not too hot and so I was mostly deeply in thought reflecting my journey as well as thinking about the future.
It was overcast and cloudy all day and especially around midday when I was hiking into the cloudy mountains I thought it would rain. It didn’t. But it looked like it would all day!
Arriving at my dedicated campsite for tonight I met two women who are camping nearby. We sat together for a while and shared our stories. One of them said some nice poems about nature and we enjoyed some hot chocolate.
Around 9pm I went back to my tent. It was time for me to sleep and rest before I would climb up the mountains and enter Olympic National Park tomorrow.