Posted from Onyx, California, United States.
Slept extremely well last night. My bed was on a cushion of thick grass and was very soft. I woke up about 5:20 AM, but took my time making breakfast and packing up. Even so I was hiking by 6:15. The sun is rising so early now, even 6 AM feels late.
I hiked with Jewel Thief most of the day. We were in no particular rush and were shocked at how easy and pretty the trail was. Gentle ups and downs wove through tall stands of coniferous forest. The shade and cool temperatures made perfect hiking. By lunch we had made 14 miles. We found a nice break spot next to a small creek. After eating we both stretched out and napped.
After lunch I hiked the afternoon alone. All too soon the trees and meadows vanished and I was once again in desert shrub landscape. The trail was still relatively easy though. By late afternoon I descended to Bird Spring Pass. A large water cache was the only water for 16 more miles. Once again I had to load up on water. The extra weight made me groan. On top of that, the next 4 miles were a rigorous, shadeless, hot climb. Even so, I was at camp well before dark. Rarely does a 30 mile day happen that easily.