Today's hike took me on a tour of the Russian Wilderness, a 12,000 acre section of the Klamath National Forest.
My cold still present, I looked forward to reaching the town of Etna, CA by sundown and the hopeful relief of my symptoms via over the counter medication.
The haze offered a dreamlike quality to my day's jaunt, and my iPod offered a soothing soundtrack to my journey.
I traversed fields of flowers that seemed to foreshadow the changing of the seasons.
And evergreens that offer no such clues.
I reached a rather striking ridge line, with remarkable rock formations overlooking the valley below.
I walked through a burn zone, a now familiar site. I was out of water and really thirsty.
I gratefully witnessed how different the scene can be on the other side of the ridge, and started down toward a lake full of fresh water.
I drank my fill and enjoyed a lakeside snack, and rinsed out my salty shirt and socks.
And gradually made it to Sawyers Bar Road, where I hitched to town with some cattle farmers pulling a horse trailer.
I found my way to the city park and spent the night with a dozen other hikers at the group campground.