Day 121

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Mule ranch, hwy 274 to Flower Lake
25 mi ::
1800 mi ::
Overcast, rainy

I walk a few miles on the highway this morning. A green truck with a sticker in the back window that says “Real Men Love Jesus” keeps passing me. It passed our camp a few times at breakfast too, I remember. The two guys inside are wearing camouflage, probably looking for some kind of game. I’m not sure why, maybe it�s the way they look at me when they go by, but I find them unsettling. It�s the first time I remember on this trip getting a bad feeling about someone. I wish Ann weren�t camping in the same place tonight. Eventually they pass at highway speed, and I don�t see them anymore.

I reach Seymour Creek trailhead after walking a dozen miles of road as quickly as I can. Here I start up a pack trail, and soon enter the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. It�s another long haul to Upper Seymour Lake, but I�m rewarded by a large, picturesque lake right at treeline. From here the trail ascends a set of switchbacks that look carved from a rock face above. There�s a dark cloud making thunder up there, so I stop for dinner. The cloud goes away, and I start up. When I reach the switchbacks I see a small red fox on the trail ahead of me. It has a long red tail with a spot of white on the end. He just stands there looking at me, so I approach. He casually trots ahead, then stops and looks back again. We repeat this several times, going around a switchback. I almost feel like he wants me to follow him. When he leaves the trail he climbs straight up the hill a ways and stops again. I don�t follow him, but I want to.

The views from Goat Flat are grand. My body feels happy to be up high in the mountains again, but my mind keeps going to back to Ann in her camp at the mule ranch. Physically I feel like I could keep going for hours, but I stop at Flower Lake when it starts storming on me.

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