We slept in on day 3. The plan was for a longer day’s hike, but it was going to be a whole lot of downhill, so there was no rush. I was not feeling very well, and it showed in my sluggish pace of packing. I usually don’t leave the tent until I’m all packed up, but on this morning I left a bit earlier so I could go dig a hole. Then I had to go back into the tent and finish up. 
Browns Lake in the morning.

Ambrose is all set and ready to go.
It felt like I was coming down with something, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what. I just felt low energy, vaguely headachy and a little sick to my stomach. I knew I didn’t feel like hiking at my usual fast pace, so I didn’t let Ambrose start before me, because it would take too long for me to catch up. 
We took it rather slow towards the outlet of the lake in order to search for morels. We didn’t find any, though there we did find other mushrooms. An abundance of them. 
Some creature feasted on these mushrooms, but they aren’t for us. 

Heading down to the outlet.

Ambrose at the outlet.
After that it was a matter of making our way carefully down the steep sections to the next junction. Ambrose walked right past it, but then said he wanted to stop at it when we were halfway down the ramp. I let him know that he was free to backtrack to the sign to take a break if he wanted, but I was going to keep going. 
Getting ready for a stream crossing.

Lovely morning flowers.

Ants in the ant plant.

One last view from up high.
He ended up agreeing with me that it would be better to take our break at the base of the ramp, so we kept hiking down until we got there. Sometimes, I wake up feeling not so great, and then I end up feeling better as the day goes on. On this day, not so much. 
I still felt like I was dragging even as the day went on. If anything, I felt a bit worse as the day went on, especially when we encountered tree problems that I had to go around. Or under. Or over… 
More flowers!

See, Ambrose is still hiking ahead of me, I’m clearly not well.

Quite a tangle of debris in this stream.

Getting closer to the Scenic Lake trail junction.
When we got close to the tarn, we heard some movement and splashing. I asked Ambrose to stop so I could take a few pictures of the deer enjoying the water. I thought there was just one, but upon closer inspection of the photographic evidence, I have to revise my estimate to 2. 
Look very closely and you’ll see a couple of deer, directly to the left of the base of the little green tree on the right.
From the tarn, it’s not all that far to the crossing of the Little Queens River. But to me, it felt like a really long time. I just didn’t want to be moving at all, and I knew that I should keep going. I also knew that if I really thought it was needful, we could go all the way to the car and then go home. I didn’t think I needed to do that, but it was comforting to know that I could. 
Every tree I stepped over felt like an added burden.

Ninemeyer junction – almost to the crossing.
I was in full on head-down hiking mode by the time we got to the crossing. I wanted to just pick a spot and stop walking for the day. Instead, I got to stop only to get up again and hike through freezing cold water. On the other side, Ambrose was ready to go before I was, and I struggled to keep up with him for the rest of the day. 
Luckily, the rest of the day wasn’t that long. We were not at all far from the spot we wanted to camp for the night. Really, we weren’t. It just felt like a terribly long time to me is all. A time in which I would fall behind Ambrose, catch up, and then fall behind again. When we got close, Ambrose pulled ahead for good, reaching the campsite before I was within line of sight. 

Ahhhh! Enough tree problems!

Ambrose crossing the Little Queens.

Ambrose crossing a side stream. We have to take it upstream a bit, because on the trail the water is fast and deep.

This one’s a dilly of a pickle. 
I was feeling pissy when he went out of sight. I wanted to ask him for something, but he wasn’t there to ask. I couldn’t even ask him to stop, he was too far ahead. And I thought I saw the campsite, but it turned out not to be the right spot. No, I found the right spot when I caught up to Ambrose and saw him off the trail heading towards the spot we’d agreed on. 
And here’s my last glimpse of Ambrose for a while…

Once I arrived, I was in no mood to do anything. I sat down in the shade and rested for a while. Ambrose did the same. But soon enough the shade we were sitting in became sunny and we had to get up and move. While Ambrose went and got water for the night, I pitched the tent. We had planned to go get water together, but since I didn’t feel well Ambrose was very kind and got it by himself. 

The tent was in pretty full sun. However, I discovered that if I stretched out in the tent on the ground, rather than on my sleeping pad, the cool of the earth kept me more comfortable. It was still hot though, so Ambrose didn’t join me. 

The view from my side of the tent. 

The day, overall, went pretty well. I wished I wasn’t feeling ill, but at least I was out in the woods. I love being out there, hearing the water flowing and the wind blowing and getting scolded by chipmunks and serenaded by birds.

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