Woke up & got another 5:30am start this morning. The trail plummeted down to the middle fork of Feather River. Without sunlight down in the canyon, I had to pass up a great swimming hole. Of course the trail regained all the elevation it lost, so I was climbing all morning. I caught up with Jewel Thief part way up, with southbound flip-flop hikers who had skipped up to Ashland & were heading south. Some of them we had met at the kick-off party & in the first week of hiking. W d messages for the hikers behind each of us & headed on.
About noon, we came to a highway & took a detour route down to Buck’s Lake. The lure of soda, burgers, & swimming was just too good to pass up. Both the meal & the lake made for an excellent long afternoon break. Sufficiently cooled, we headed back to Buck’s Summit and then on towards Spanish Peak. We found great camping on a granite shoulder above a bluff looking out across a huge valley. As we watched the light fade, I couldn’t think of a better place to spend my last night in Central California.