Ambrose and I drove out to the Queens River trail head on Saturday morning, arriving around 11 am. The plan was just to hike out a little bit, past the first crossing of the Little Queens River, but no more than that, even if we had time. This trip was all about being leisurely, taking 8 days to do a route that we knew we could do in 4.

Ambrose, ready to hit the trail.

He’s even hiking ahead of me! (This did not last.)

I’m glad the sign for the Queens River/Little Queens River has been restored.

Still quite a few downed trees in the first couple miles.

But I can’t complain – the bridge is still standing, after all.

Cute little caterpillar!

What a tragedy – unripe thimble berries. 

But there were a few ripe ones 🙂

This stream crossing has changed a lot since we’ve been hiking out here.

More tree obstacles.

Gorgeous view of the Little Queens.

I held these stinging nettles to the side for Ambrose – with my trekking pole.

Another side stream crossing that has changed almost every year.

I saw a little snake! So cute snek!

The trail sign for when it turns to cross the bridge is now out of commission.

The log in the water really interfered with the ideal crossing line.

More tree puzzles.

Time to find a campsite.

Looks like some rule breakers have been here before, as evidenced by this really old fire ring.

My first pitch of our zpacks triplex tent. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

And it has a lot more room than our original tent – we didn’t have to squish together. Instead, we squished together by choice.

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in the roomy tent. When it got dark, Ambrose was already asleep, and I went ahead and tried to sleep as well. The next thing I knew, he was shaking me awake. When I pulled my buff off my eyes, I could see – even without my glasses – that the sky was bright with lightning. And I could feel the thunder rumbling in my bones, a constant background noise that made me hop out of the tent to take a nature break before the sky broke wide open.

I also took that time to tighten every line on the tent so that it would be ready to protect us from the storm that was surely coming, based on the light show. I was surprised that I managed to get back in the tent without getting wet. But it wasn’t long after I got in that the heavens began to release, and the rain pitter-pattered down on our tent. I checked the near the foot and the head to make sure we weren’t getting any leaks, and then fell back asleep.

According to Ambrose, I missed a skunk coming to check out our tent. Guess I can’t really blame him for not waking me. Better I sleep through the visit than we startle the skunk into spraying…

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