Day 12

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FR506 to Tadpole Ridge
11 mi ::
144 mi ::
Partly cloudy, windy

When we finally reach Bear Creek, I sit down with the GPS to try to locate us in a known position on the map. It’s off again. Ann notices the bearing is off by about the same amount as the magnetic north offset here. Eventually I find a Heading setting in the GPS receiver that’s set to AUTO. When I set it to TRUE instead, for true north, the bearing is correct. Relieved that the problem seems to be fixed, we carry on.

We start crossing some rocky canyons after breakfast. After passing some private property the trail goes from ATV tread to a series of cairns. These start out easy to follow, but get tougher when the trail enters a forrested canyon.

We’re using Jonathan Ley’s maps, and he has a note that part of the trail climbing a ridge has become a bushwhack after the trail was destroyed by a burn. This section turns out to be choked with thornbushes and briars. Our progress is painfully slow, and even with good GPS readings I overshoot the trail on the other side. It’s dinner time when we finally reach it.

We finish dinner around 7 pm. The sun is setting. We quickly reach a nice place to camp, but we both feel energized to walk some more. We have an exhilarating traverse below Tadpole Ridge with our best views so far in the fading light. Just as night is falling we reach a saddle and pitch the tent. It’s been a low-mileage, but satisfying day.

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