Day 6: Birthday snow

Friday July 19, 21.7mi/34.9km

Red Meadow Lake camp (73.3/5551ft) to Campsite at Road FS114 (94.4/4101ft) (MT) +0.6mi side trail from camp

I usually try to avoid camping by lakes and rivers, but this one seemed so convenient. As expected, it was very damp, and my tent was dripping with moisture both inside and out by the morning. After carefully packing up all my gear, and the wet tent, I set off at 7:30am. It was a nice sunny morning.

The trail climbed up to a 6500ft ridgeline, and pretty much stayed there all day. The views were very good, and there were even signs for the PNT!

All the wildflowers were blooming too.

In the afternoon, I entered a wildfire section, I think it had burned in 2017. The pattern in the trees is creepy.

And up close…

I got to the summit of Mt Locke, and a thunderstorm was rapidly approaching. And, in the burned mess if a forest, I couldn’t find the trail down. Finally, I spotted a segment of trail on a ridge 100ft below, and bushwhacked down to it.

And then things got exciting… it snowed, hailed, and then sleeted.

Video

I’ve never seen those before on my birthday, so it was truly an unexpected gift! After 15 minutes, the sun came out again.

The final 5 miles to camp were wonderfully uneventful, and easy walking on an abandoned, overgrown dirt road. I setup camp near a stream, but well above it to hopefully avoid last night’s moisture problems.

It was only 5pm, so I chatted with some local kids at the swimming hole for awhile before making dinner. After dinner, I walked back to my tent (I never cook near my tent in grizzly country), and found it had completely dried in the sun! Looking forward to a dry night tonight!

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