I was up a bit earlier this morning, but not for the hunting of mushrooms. I only had a run to do and everything else was just open. I could just be, in the wilderness, alone with my husband (but able to get distance if I wanted). After breakfast, Ambrose and I lounged around a bit, letting the morels dry a bit spread out on a downed log.

Panorama of drying mushrooms.

Another morel angle.

Although it was still a bit chilly, Ambrose prodded me to do my run earlier that day so we could eat lunch earlier. A reasonable request and I felt better about going to run the second time around.

I knew I could find our campsite again if I found this little grove of aspens.
But I lost sight of that little grove before I reached the trail.

 I found the trail!
There were lots of trees down along it.


Kid Creek has had that log crossing for at least the last 6 years. 

For this run, I took a different route to the trail and found a rusted out old can on my way. I picked it up and continued toward the trail, but I didn’t want to bring it back to camp because that would delay my run. Instead, when I reached the trail I put it down so I could find it again when we left the next day. To my surprise, the straightest route from our camp to the trail did not lead me to the meadow where we had left the trail.

I made my way down to Kid Creek and crossed on a log before changing into my running clothes – blessedly not stinky thanks to my wash-and-dry the day before. This time, I took the camera along so I could get a picture of the point where I turned back the day before. It was a pretty spectacular snag, as I recalled, and I wanted proof.

Ready to run in the wilderness! 

Yup, I got a lot of scratches on those legs. That bag holds water pretty well. 

 The run went much like the prior day. It was a lot like a Spartan Race, only all the obstacles were trees and there were rather more pokey bits to scrape myself on than at Spartan Races… I ran when it was clear, slowed when I had to go over or around a tree, and almost made it through without any incidents.

The snag! No way I was going past that in shorts. 

Now, I managed to take the picture of the snag while hardly slowing down for my turnaround. I managed to complete the run about a minute faster than the prior day. But I also managed to get in just a spot of trouble, because I wanted to keep running instead of slowing down so much while going around trees. Near the end of the run, I went around a tree and stepped into a depression that made my ankle jerk awkwardly. Not quite a twist, so I was able to run it off, but I was much more careful for the rest of the run not to run off the trail.

Right after crossing Kid Creek, there was another little flow of water, and then this. I started my run AFTER getting past it. 

After the run, I gave myself more of a “shower” to cool down and get the salt off my body. That involved holding the clothes bag over my head and squirting myself with freezing cold water while naked in the wilderness at the side of the trail. I really hoped no one would choose that moment to walk up, and no one did.

I tried to get a picture of a woodpecker, but I don’t think I did. Still a pretty tree and sky.

Making my way back to camp – I see the aspens!

Back at camp, Ambrose and I ate lunch and then tried to rig things up on the tent so that we could be in it without getting baked by the sun (which tends to turn the thing into a bit of a sauna). We wanted to stay in the tent to avoid the ticks that had already found us with a couple of bites. I put my very large towel over the top of the tent and it provided pretty good shade. Ambrose rigged up his tarp and it helped, but not as much. Of course, my towel was heavier and it messed with the tent’s pitch a bit more – something that we should have addressed before going to bed for the night, but we didn’t.

It’s mostly in the shade now, but that blanket made a big difference when the sun was shining down full force on the tent.

So when it rained that night, we were in a saggy tent, and I just hoped that we wouldn’t get flooded, because I just didn’t want to deal with getting out into the rain and getting wet to fix the tent. Not if I didn’t absolutely have to. But it was a good reminder that we should tighten up the tent in the evenings. Just in case.

I had planned on sleeping in until the sun came up, but my plans were thwarted. Not from the usual source (Ambrose), but by Mother Nature herself. The sun wasn’t going to come up around 8 am, because the clouds had taken over the sky. I agreed, upon seeing the sky, with Ambrose that we should just get moving because the sun wasn’t coming out any time soon.

It was an easy hike out. We didn’t rush, but it was chilly enough that we moved well. I did pick up the rusted can from the side of the trail and packed it out. Ambrose also found a hunk of glass that we packed out.

I took a lot of pictures of downed trees along the trail. It was a way to stay focused for me, although Ambrose mentioned that the tree challenges themselves were enough to keep him occupied. That stretch of trail can be a bit boring, but I’d rather have the snags cleared…

Tree challenges!

Tree falls!

Seriously, I have so many more pictures of trees across the trail and we didn’t even hike two miles. 

Ah, the Queens River, almost there.

I came out ahead of Ambrose, so I had time to turn around for a good picture of him. 

We got back to the trail head right around noon and settled in for a little bit to have a meal. In normal years, we’d stop by Idaho City and get a meal after a trip like this, but we were not planning on doing any non-essential stops this time. So Ambrose cooked up some Minute Rice and then heated up a can of Dinty Moore stew and mixed it all together. It’s simple, but a hearty meal that carried us home. Well, as the driver, I had some candy to make sure I would stay focused on the road and not hunger.

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