I got an early start out of Rosary Lakes. Most of the morning hiking was through a large forest. Right before noon the trail emerged into a large burned out section. For over 2 miles I walked through a surreal forest of bare tree trunks so thick you could only see a few hundred yards in front of you. The thick trunks did nothing to abate the sun coming straight down though. Finally I made it back to healthy forest with shade.
I ate a late lunch next to Irish Lake after busting out 19 miles by 12:45. All afternoon the trail passed lakes – almost too many to count. Most were shallow and stagnant, but a few were larger like Brahma Lake where I took a refreshing swim. I hiked the late afternoon miles with John. It was nice to hear the experiences of another northbounder since I had gone 2 months without seeing one.
John and I camped on the banks of Cliff Lake. There was a large area of grass that had an almost manicured look that was too good to pass up camping on. We were in camp somewhat early, but I only needed to get in 10 miles tomorrow to get to Elk Lake so this worked for me. Raindog is picking Jewel Thief and I up tomorrow around noon for us all to go attempt to climb Mt. Rainier.