Day 6 would mark our final day on the trail. There were no breathtaking and jaw-dropping views as we had been spoiled with over the last few days. There were no passes, no storms, no other major drama. Instead, there was much reflection and celebration.
Despite being the lowest elevation we would camp at (about 10,600 feet), our final night may have ended up being the coldest or close to it. There was more frost all over our gear and tent flies than any other morning of the trip. With only six, mostly easy going, miles that separated us from the car, we were in no rush to get going on this morning.
Before the sun could grace our camp, I got up to do some more wandering, take a few more photos of the pond and lake peacefully reflecting the world around them, and do some personal reflecting of my own.
Once the sun was out, we took our tents, sleeping bags, and any other gear that had been frost bitten or otherwise stood to benefit from a good sun bathing and spread them out to dry and/or air out while we took in breakfast. Once our gear was satisfactorily dry and so forth, we packed up and navigated our way back to the trail.
About two miles from camp, we would pass by the junction with the trail that leads up to Naturalist Basin. Having both been up to Naturalist Basin before, in separate trips, Adam and I were once again in familiar territory, walking a trail we had walked before.
The final six miles presented no major obstacles. There were no more passes to go up and over and no storms to wait out. There were only the typical stream crossings (some with boardwalks built over them) and an occasional log across the trail to go over or around. We never really took much of a break along the way, only pausing to take an occasional picture. There were few spots where the trees opened up to any big views above and beyond them. Otherwise, it was all about getting back to the car waiting for us at the Highline Trailhead at Hayden Pass.
Within a couple of hours, it was all over. We had finished the 75 mile journey we had started 5 days before. One of the bigger hikes on my ever growing bucket list of hikes was now checked off.
We got to become a little bit more intimately familiar with the high country of the Uintas. We got to savor the details of a number of beautiful basins and see how the evening and morning light can change their character. We got to take time to experience our surroundings with all of our senses.
We celebrated. We washed up and changed our clothing. Our mouths watering for something different than our usual trail fare, we loaded up in the car and made the drive down to Granny's Drive in Heber City for some much deserved burgers, fries, and shakes.