Coming off the saddle where I camped, I hiked along a ridge overlooking a beautiful meadow filled with tall grass and wildflowers. In the middle of the meadow, about 100 feet in elevation below me was a black bear, foraging for food. This was the first bear I had seen the whole hike. It was too far away for a picture with my phone, but I watched it for a few moments and it never noticed me.
I see deer nearly every day and have seen some really young fawns but a bear is a much more rare sighting and I was glad to finally see one.
I also saw an amazing sunrise:
In midmorning I came upon a section hiker and started chatting with him. He asked me if I had stayed at the Anderson’s in SoCal. I told him no because they were at kick off that weekend. He paused, then said, “Damn those Andersons!” Pause. “I’m Papa Joe Anderson”.
We hiked together for a few miles and chatted it up. It was really interesting to hear his stories of being a trail angel for 15 years.
I left Papa Joe when he stopped for a break and I continued to hike through the woods along a ridge on an easy downhill stretch until I reached a river.
That night I camped by an old road, having hiked 35.1 miles.