Stopping for a short break, I saw a hiker approach. "Would you like some grapes?" Busted Magic asked. We talked while I munched fresh grapes, and somehow I felt better afterward.
We continued climbing up the trail, passing through forests and wide open fields of grass covering steeply sloping hills. From time to time we caught a brief glimpse of Pilot Rock, a dark, volcanic rock outcropping, growing steadily larger as we approached. But it was only when we were right beneath the rock outcropping that we recognized the familiar hexagonal columns at its base, reminiscent of Devil's Postpile.
From Pilot Rock we continued to dodge in and out of forests and meadows as we traversed the hillside. We reached the trailhead by mid afternoon, where Balls, Sunshine, and Butterfly were waiting to whisk us away to Ashland for a much needed zero day.