From our dark canyon, we climbed onto a sunny saddle, then dropped into a forest. Passing several swampy streams and meadows, we each picked up our own swarm of mosquitoes. Even after we left the swampy areas, the mosquitoes seemed to hang with us as we hiked through the cool, dark woods.
Although the Data Book elevations suggested that, like yesterday, our hike would be a gentle traverse, the elevation profile was deceiving. Instead of listing the elevation for the top of the climbs, the Data Book noted points with similar elevations lower down on either side of the ridge. Looking at the Data Book one might have thought the hike was almost level, but it was anything but. We climbed over several red volcanic ridges, dropping into grassy meadows filled with Sierra daisies, lupine, Mariposa lilies, several shades of paintbrush, and other flowers.
The final climb included two long snowfields, slick and icy in places, wet and slushy in others. Then we descended past several groups of day hikers, to Carson Pass (8,550 ft). My father met us with pizza, salad, and fruit slushies for dinner.
After dinner we continued up the trail. We climbed to a large saddle covered with irises. A swampy pond reflected the surrounding mountains in the waning evening light. From the saddle we descended beneath rocky volcanic cliffs to a grassy meadow. There, in a grove of trees next to the infant Truckee River, we found camp for the night.