It helps that the weather was perfect, and that it’s been a dry summer so mud and water were eminently avoidable. But it’s also a lovely and wild forest, you just have to look 10 feet off the trail to see it.
I encountered my first other humans at the summit of crowded Porter Mountain. I stopped for a brief photo and quickly headed back the Range Trail towards Blueberry Mountain. On the way, there was a perfect rock outcropping offering views of Porter and Cascade, after which I continued towards Blueberry.