When I wake up, Sherman is already awake and watching life happening.
 

Shooting Star Shelter. Designed for six hikers to sleep with head or feet toward the opening. We had it to ourselves…
Never heard of this before. And, yes… No smell. Nice!
Left Shooting Star Shelter at 9:15am. Sherman didn’t eat breakfast. I ate a couple bars. We’re low on water, so no cooking. The water source here is a well. But the pump is not working. Seems to me that the gasket is worn out. Can’t get any suction.
We have 4 miles to go to the next shelter where there’s a spring. Wet or dry is not knowable. So we’ll be rationing. Actually, I’ll be rationing with Sherman’s water needs being the priority.
At about 2 miles there is a small, very slow moving stream. There are two pools deep enough to get water. I skim off the surface into Sherman’s water bowl and pour into my water treatment bottle. A plastic 30 oz mayonnaise jar. It has a large enough opening for my ultraviolet Steripen to enter the water and do its magic.
I put the Steripen in the water and the battery is dead. I have replacements, but they are deep in the pack in the first aid pack. So, I see early on the hike that it’s a good thing I also brought water purification drops. I get two liters and we are now full. 3.25 liters of liquid. Onward…
This water source is a tiny spring with a pool here that may be 18×24 inches. Really makes one think about the necessities of life and the drive that created these monster cities that are supposed to provide safety. Endless water. Endless heat. Endless shelter. After millennia of living from this fear of scarcity, we’ve hit the wall, and need to return to small, decentralized, local resource management. The bigness is killing us. All of us earthlings.
This is a difficult trail. It’s technically more difficult than the JMT. Many steep inclines and declines where I slow WAY down and carefully place each foot. I have always had an excellent sense of balance. It is fully in use.

I’m not holding the camera at an angle. I promise…
Also, my pack is not packed properly. The heaviest item is the food. It’s packed about 2/3 of the way up so it’s in the middle of my back. It should be 1/3 of the way up so it’s closer to my center of gravity. This wasn’t an issue in the JMT because of bear canister. That was big enough that it went vertically from 1/4 – 3/4 of the pack height. As the food was eaten the center of gravity in the canister went lower. This year my food is in an odor proof bag that is horizontal. Totally different requirements as I have just discovered. I don’t recall ever reading about this difference. Hmmmm…
We are walking around a mud area and I notice huge hoof prints. Moose! Nearby is a bear print! Is the bear following a moose? Probably just coincidence. I call Sherman and hook him to the hands free leash. The prints repeat in the next few mid spots. Then just the Moose. Then just human shoes. We stop for water and rest just off the trail. Sherman is sniffing and sniffing. I keep putting water in front of his nose. He finally drinks and lays down. Then I see that we’re sitting right next to a pile of Moose poop!! Old and dried up. But still…!!??

We reach Laura Woodward Shelter about 3pm. I thought we’d get here about 1pm. It’s late lunch time. We need water and go down the trail to the spring. It’s running. Not a lot of water, but a steady flow creating a small creek. The water is amazing. Cold. Clear. Delicious. With new batteries in the Steripen, I zap the microcrud with ultraviolet. I like doing this. It doesn’t add any chemicals to the water and kills the microbes and the protozoa.
I feed Sherman and he eats the whole bowl. He usually leaves 10-20%. I make my customized oatmeal mix. When repacking I put the food bag on the 2nd layer. It makes such a difference. Much better balance.
We leave at 4:15 for a 3.1 hike to Jay Camp. At about 1 mile per hour average, we will just make it at early dusk. From the shelter the trail good down quite a ways. It goes through 2 boggy areas. Sherman is confused by wet ground. Most of the wet areas a spongy muddy places that he can walk over without getting wet or muddy. I, weighing a lot more than he, have to walk on the edges that are firmer. When we get to the bogs, he walks right in as if its the same as previous. But he immediately sinks in to his knees. There a suction sound at each step. He comes out the other end with black feet. At the next bog, I carry him. His backpack has a handle that allows me to pick him up. He’s supported by two straps under his chest and belly. Both under his rib cage. He’s gotten used to this feature and stops at places that are too steep or too narrow, looks at me and waits for me to situate myself so I can pick him up by the handle and move him to a place where he has good footing again.
After the bog there’s a small stream. Too big for him to jump, so he wades through which cleans some of the bog off of him. This is not just mud. It’s really sticky. Not clay either. But it really sticks in his fur. When dry it coats big clumpy strands with black dirt.
We follow the trail about a half mile and the way it looks to go, there are no blazes as it goes up a small river bed. I can’t figure it out and it’s too late to spend this kind of time. So, we hike back to Laura Woodward Shelter. I carry him over the bogs on the way back!
I get get ready for sleep and do some reorg. Sherman sleeps. After I’m done, I get Sherman’s brush and brush out the bog dirt. Once it’s broken up, he’s coat just sheds it.
As we’re settling down another hiker appears. He’s hiked all the way here from Trail’s End. A long day! He sets up his tent. He makes dinner at the shelter and we talk a while. Then… it’s bed time.