Today was a 6113 ft day. Guess we're gonna be getting used to this. I slept pretty well w the new pad. It didn't deflate or move around at all. With all the clouds, it's so dark. I didn't end up packing up til close to six. I was one of the first to head out. All morning, I walked in clouds, mist, light rain from the trees until around lunch time. I didn't see any views! But I wasn't inhaling smoke...it's one or the other blocking our views. It also was pretty humid and I'd be cold if I stopped for a break. I started thinking back on the desert days and missing our friends again. Man, nothing will ever be like your first thru hike. Those memories are so so vivid. All of us newbs down in southern ca not knowing a clue what we were doing but all walking north together. I wish I could go back someday but as a newb again.
Right around noon, I saw my first blue sky in what felt like weeks! The sun broke through just a tiny bit. I can't believe how much the clouds helped the smoke. I ended up taking a lunch near a hill w a small view. I was getting hungry and wanted to make my pack lighter. Baton, the Australian guy I hitched with, came and had lunch w me. He's also friends w Payless and his food bag is just as full as mine so I felt better about it. Then I leap frogged the sa couple, names are dr mcdirty and cougar. There were tons of big blueberries to pick as well. They're so sweet right now. I didn't drink much water. It's hard when it's cold.
The rest of the climb to camp was on a ridge w clouds moving in and out. I thought I'd never see the lake. When we finally got there, there were tons of ppl. I have no idea where they came from and figured most ppl would keep walking. The lake was literally on the side of a ridge. So pretty and secluded. I ended up finding a spot w the sa couple and baton came later on. I think I like this section of ppl. It's getting colder and darker so fast. I need a new method of cooking in my tent...but tonight I enjoyed a warm meal so much. Amazing.