I woke up and got a good start today. All morning the trail was an easy meander through the forest. It was more trail managed by the BLM and had few features to speak of. Its biggest saving grace is it contained the first ripe huckleberries which I picked as we hiked along.
Early afternoon we made it to the Brown Mountain Shelter which was very much like an AT shelter. This was only about the 3rd shelter we have seen on the entire trail. Its water source was a well with an old fashioned manual pump which delivered clear cold water.
After the shelter the trail contoured around a mountain covered with lava beds. Big chunks of black and red rock – the kind you see in the bottom of a gas grill – were the trail bed. A tremendous amount of trail work had been done across these beds to make the trail flat and walkable. None the less it was hard on the feet and the black rock radiated heat.
After several miles we made it to the highway and the end of BLM lands (yeah)! Since it was only 6pm, we decided to hitch 2 miles down to a restaraunt. After an hour of cars whizzing by and not stopping, we tabled that idea and hiked on. In 4.5 miles we made it to the delightful little Freye Lake with great camping, although a small army of mosquitoes also liked the area. We washed our dusty feet and legs in the lake and headed to bed.