The sun was up and I poked my face out of my tent, still wrapped up in my warm sleeping bag like a burrito. My water bottle was frozen. Hm, that was a first for this trip.
Our original plan was to have an easy day down to Honeymoon or Upper Pine Lake where we would have a relaxing last night on the trail before exiting and driving home on Sunday. Instead, we decided to cover the final 10 miles (2 cross-country, 8 on trail) and almost 5000 feet of descent in one day. After a successful trip with every summit on the list bagged, I certainly didn’t feel like we were cheating or bailing on our plans by exiting a day earlier than planned. Anyways, I only had one packet of Starbucks Via coffee left and we’d polished off the end of my bourbon the night before. The real world has coffee and beer. I was ready for the real world.
After packing up we took off cross-country towards French Lake. It was a really pretty little area with nice meadows and some campsites tucked away along a lightly flowing creek. At French Lake we dropped our packs for a quick snack and some photos. There are some relaxing looking beaches along the shore of this lake, but they didn’t look too tempting on this cold and windy morning. It wasn’t warming up like the previous days. There was an autumn-like chill in the air.