My 3rd attempt at completing this loop after 2 previous failures. Last year I was turned back due to impassable tree fall after the snow season, and a few months ago I got caught in a heavy monsoon downpour and forced back down the road for cover. This trip started like the last one with storms brewing all around the mountain. I quickly made my way up the switchbacks from the Shannon CG to the Arcadia intersection, up and over the saddle and down to the base of the peak where I had to turn around last year. I was very happy to see that the forest service had cleaned up this section of the trail and it was in great shape all the way up to the peak! At the peak I met 2 other hikers and the 3 of us watched in awe as the storms moved off the mountain and over the valley below creating a rainbow that soon turned into a double and for a brief minute, the start of a third!
I then started down the service road and soon came upon another hiker on his way up. It was Preston Sands and my first time meeting him. We talked for several minutes and both agreed that it was just a matter of time before we crossed paths on "our" mountain. I continued down the rest of the road with the 2 people I met on top finally completing this loop on my 3rd try! It was just another great day of hiking & making friends on the Grahams!