The first two days of our backpacking trip were amazing, but day three even topped that.
It's been a long time since I've been backpacking and this trip only whetted my appetite for more. I love being on the trail, carrying everything I need, having no distractions and getting to soak in the natural world.
That third morning we got up at 6 a.m., skipped breakfast, and headed right to Mr. Bubbles--a backcountry hot spring a couple miles from our campsite.
Heading into the thermal basin.
Some little terraces that wowed us.
A hot river flowing into Mr. Bubbles.
Heather checks out the famous Mr. Bubbles. Toasty warm in most places, and refreshing in others,
I'm enjoying my soak. We were there for a couple hours and saw no one except a ranger.
Our post-soak breakfast spot.
One of 6-10 trees near the hot springs that had been stripped by a grizzly.
White hare bells. Have you ever seen them? I don't think I have.
More hot springs...
Heather on the trail.
Can you find the Patrol Cabin? I want to be a backcountry ranger stationed here.
Heather is butt-deep in the Bechler River. We forded the Bechler three times.
That's why they call it Cascade Corner.
Smoke from wildfires in the park made the views soft and surreal.
Heather packing up at our third campsite.
Scanning the meadow for wildlife. Note the bugnet, the mosquitoes were gnarly.
Now I am butt deep in the Bechler River...
...with full headgear.
The Bechler Meadows were so expansive. This was a really dry year, but we could imagine this place in a normal year. It must be so pretty...and buggy.
At the end of the trail.
Heather's friend, Franz, hiked in the last day and then drove us back up to the Lone Star Geyser trailhead, saving us a long shuttle. And he brought me a beer. That's a good friend.