Saturday August 10, 20.1mi/32.3km
Cow Pond (526.8/4272ft) to Swanson Creek Road/Church (550.0/3461ft) (WA) -3.1mi alt route
I slept in, because I was so tired from all the miles yesterday. I finally got hiking at 7:15am, and I got to Lake Bonaparte just after 8am. It had a restaurant! And I had perfect timing, it had just opened at 8am, time for second breakfast!
There were a few people out on the lake enjoying the day. Ducks, too.
I finished my breakfast (and milkshake) and hiked uphill, starting a long climb up to the summit of Mt. Bonaparte. The lake was 1000ft/300m below at this point.
A couple of hours later, I got to the junction to the summit. I had a choice – the official PNT goes around the mountain, and the trail is 5km longer. The popular alternate route goes over the summit, with an extra 1000ft of climbing. Easy decision…over the summit!
I was on top an hour later. The fire tower is staffed, and I had a fun conversation with the lonely watchman.
Clouds were gathering, so I decided to get down the mountain quickly. I dropped down into the trees, and the trail was a nice gentle downhill, and the miles flew by.
I saw an old abandoned cabin on the way.
And of course I saw cows too. Hi cows!
I was walking along a road on the final mile to my destination, when a guy in a pickup truck stops to ask if I want a ride. I was heading to the church (which lets hikers camp in their yard for free), but he offered a place to stay, and said there was a big storm coming. Yes, please! Steve picked me up, and also his spouse Diana, and along with some grandchildren, we went to town and got pizza!
Back at the house, I setup my sleeping bag on the porch, and watched a huge thunderstorm roll through!