I took a step out of the rush rush and entered the do absolutely nothing zone. Spent the first night in the woods about a mile from the Lava Cave with half the group. The next morning we headed over to the Pumpkin Trailhead for a late morning start.
We couldn't have asked for better weather, it was perfect. Got hit by one storm cell on the upper ridge hiking in which was refreshing. We chatted with Manny in the lookout tour. He pointed out a shorter undocumented off-trail approach up the mountain.
Albeit a short hike by backpacking standards this was by far my longest backpack. I didn't really notice I was wearing a pack. Still happy with all my gear except I think a thick cheap air mattress would be more comfortable than my self inflating Thermarest.
On a rare note I didn't turn on the GPS. Wish I had as it doesn't seem like this hike is 11 or 12 miles. I'm going with 4.5mi in and 5.5mi out.
With this trip I did two upgrades to help accommodate groups and backpackers.
1) Members of the group and additional legs of the hike auto populate if posted from the first leg of the hike
2) Spring reports will now show up in the triplog they are posted in.
It was good to meet Ed, Kurt, Andy & Mike(Drewsbitch). Still haven't figured out how to persuade all of them to post...